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Letter to Fracking Panel Members Requests that DOH Review be Put On-Hold and That a Comprehensive Shale Fracking Public Health Impact Study be Undertaken

October 17, 2013

To: Hon. Thomas W. Libous, Hon. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Esq., Hon. Kate Sinding, Esq., Hon. Eric A. Goldstein, Esq., Hon. Mark Brownstein, Hon. Thomas J. Santulli, Hon. Robert B. Catell, Hon. Mark K. Boling, Esq., Hon. Jeff Williams, Hon. Bradley Gill, Hon. Heather Briccetti, Hon. Kathleen McGinty, J. D., Hon. James B. Bays


Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, a member of the Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel, has written a carefully documented and respectful letter calling for Dr. Shah's inadequate shale fracking "review" to be put on hold and for a comprehensive "Public Health Impact Study" to be conducted to resolve all Marcellus Shale health hazard concerns once and for all.

See her letter at:

We, the undersigned, write to request that the other members of the Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel take similar action to require Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to:

a) halt Dr. Shah's DOH Review because it has been conducted in secret without any public input, has unacceptable major shortcomings and cannot fulfill its mandates; and

b) resolve High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) health concerns once and for all by undertaking a comprehensive, open and transparent "Public Health Impact Study."

DOH Review Would be Informed by Three Shockingly Incomplete HVHF Health Impact Studies

Three "comprehensive studies" that Dr. Shah claimed would "assist in informing" his DOH Review are shockingly incomplete.

On 2/12/13, Dr. Shah wrote DEC Commissioner Martens that one of the reasons his DOH Review had not been completed was that he wanted to review "the first comprehensive studies of HVHF health impacts...(emphasis added) and receive "first-hand briefings on these studies and their progress, which will assist in informing the New York Review (emphasis added)."

He specifically cited an extensive investigation by Geisinger Health Systems "which cares for many patients in areas where shale gas is being developed in Pennsylvania, [and] is undertaking studies to analyze health records for asthma and other respiratory diseases, accidents and injuries, as well as birth outcomes (emphasis added)."

He said that his Review would be completed "within a few weeks..."


On 6/19/13, Associated Press reported that Geisinger only has $1.0 million out of $25.0 million required to undertake its proposed studies. The Geisinger investigation obviously has not progressed far enough to inform Dr. Shah about anything.


The two other studies are equally incomplete. The Environmental Protection Agency's study reportedly will not be done until at least 2016.

DOH Review Fails to Fulfill its Mandates

There can be no dispute that Dr. Shah's Review fails to fulfill its mandates to:

a) address "any legitimate request for additional due diligence and study…(emphasis added);"

b) ensure that "DEC's ultimate decision on hydraulic fracturing is beyond reproach either as a matter of law or as policy (emphasis added);

c) allow DEC to avail "ourselves of the best possible advice from the private and academic sectors (emphasis added);" and

d) "… result in the most thorough review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the nation…(emphasis added)."


Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel Has Responsibility to Address DOH Review Shortcomings

Members of the Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel have a clear responsibility to address the shortcomings of the DOH Review because Dr. Shah wrote:

"In particular we are focused on the relationship of HVHF to the health impacts of drinking water contamination, but also other areas such as air quality and community impacts (emphasis added)."

Among other responsibilities, the Advisory Panel is charged with:

"developing recommendations to ensure DEC and other agencies are enabled to properly oversee, monitor and enforce high-volume hydraulic fracturing activities;"

"developing recommendations to avoid and mitigate impacts to local governments and communities (emphasis added)."


Given the major shortcomings of Dr. Shah's Review detailed herein, it is imperative that Governor Cuomo halt the fatally flawed DOH Review and require New York State to conduct its own comprehensive, open and transparent shale fracturing "Public Health Impact Study" without further delay.

Dr. Shah observed: "The time to ensure the impacts on public health are properly considered is before (emphasis in the original) a state permits drilling." That concern is of paramount importance because Governor Cuomo stated on 5/22/13 that Dr. Shah's Review "should be done in the next several weeks."


If you are unable to persuade Governor Cuomo to resolve the grave shortcomings of the DOH Review, you should consider resigning your position because the Advisory Panel obviously would not be worthy of its purpose.

Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

cc: Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Honorable Joseph Martens

Honorable Nirav R. Shah

Honorable Donna Lupardo

Total Signatory Count: 1253

Jeffrey Silman
1 Sidney Pl
Brooklyn, New York
Charley Tarr
347 Bird Avenue
Buffalo, NY
Margery Pask
317 W. State Street
Ithaca, New York
David Grodsky
Protect Pittsfield
677 Co. Hwy. 49
New Berlin, NY
Nedra Harvey
R-CAUSE (Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction)
275 Berkeley St.
Rochester, New York
William Landau
PO Box 171
Hankins, New York
Judith Garson
501 W 52 ST
New York, NY
Anne Lazarus
524 East 20th St. 2G
New York, New York
James Sherpa
302 Giles St
Ithaca, NY
Stephen Goggin
Cornell University
581 Bostwick Road
Ithaca, New York
Jeffrey Dembowski
335 State Street
Albany, NY
Mary Smith
Communications Coordinator
Church Women United of NYS
3512 Michigan Ave
Elmira, NY
John Humphries
117 Hopkins Road
Ithaca, NY
Janet VanEtten
147 Starks Road
Newfield, NY
Neil Freson
26 Bitternell Lane
Henrietta, NY
Kelly Branigan
Middlefield Neighbors
467 Springfield Hill Rd.
Cooperstown, New York [NY]
Allison Truelsen
3 Muriel Street
Ithaca, NY
Rhea Garen
117 Hopkins Rd
Ithaca, NY
Sally Crow
214 McBerney Road
Greene, NY
Debra Flanagan
1011 University Avenue #30
Rochester, NY
David Werier
245 Eastman Hill Rd.
Willseyville, New York
Karen Rigatti
71 Rotary Avenue
Binghamton, New York
Bonnie Seegmiller
PO Box M
Downsville, NY
Carol O'Brien
Willsea O'Brien Glass, Inc
8415 Garlinghouse Rd
Naples, New York
Lauren McFeeley
306 E. Tompkins St.
Ithaca, NY
Serena Farhi
141 E. 89th St. 3D
New York, NY
Dawn Jordan
Voorheesville, NY
Joan-Marie Bauman`
106 Rupp Road
Monticello, New York
Elizabeth Maloney
Yvette Akel
Marvin Mastrangelo
3204 Briarcliff Avenue
Vestal, NY
Maytali Novak
109 Woodcrest Terrace
Ithaca, NY
Inese Leimanis
LaFayette Rd.
LaFayette, NY
Janis Leimanis
LaFayette Road
LaFayette, NY
April Leggett
116 Afton Lake Rd
Afton, NY
Carol Heaton
121 N. Broadway 22D
White Plains, New York
Stephanie Sacco
64 Asbury Street
Rochester, NY
Shirley Tripp
Jacob Garniez
New York, New York
Karen London
Sullivan Area Citizens for Responsible Energy Development (SACRED)
PO Box 913
Smallwood, NY
Kristin Lovelace-Ross
Waterburg Road
Trumansburg, New York
Ross M. Horowitz
820 W King Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14850
Dorothy Pomponio
206 Elm Street
Groton, New York
Francis LaLuna
435 Woodland Way
Tunkhannock, PA
Leaf Turner
85 Autumn Ridge Circle
Ithaca, NY
Wixie Skellett
312 Orchard Street
Vestal, New York
Joanne Steele
Chair, Mid-Hudson Group of the Atlantic Chapter Sierra Club
Sierra Club
1 Union Center Road
Saint Remy, NY
Frank Rowland
411 North Way
Newfield, NY
Nancy Knipe
Desert Angels
4342 St. Clair Avenue
Studio City, CA
Cathy Farris
PO Box 120
mountaindale, NY