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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

Martha Treichler
Bath Peace and Justice Group
7988 Van Amburg
Hammondsport, NY
Rosemary Thomas
138 Mechanic St
Guilford, NY 13780
Christine Brunner
174 Warner Rd.
Susan Bishop
24 Church St.
Deposit, NY
Mary Lee Martens
board president
Moving in congregations! Acting in hope
4356 Cosmos Hill Rd.
Cortland, NY
deb benzer
714 N Cayuga st
ithaca , ny
Marilyn Wienk
Board Member
274 Rosedale Street
Rochester, New York
Joan McKiernan
10 Deer Lake Road
Windsor, NY
E Gail Walder
4633 Chestnut Road
Newfane, New York
Patricia Williams
Residents Against Fracking in Tioga
499 E. Front Street
Owego, New York
Roger Jones
578 Engleville Rd
Sharon Springs, NY
Brewster Chase
252 Etna Rd
Ithaca, NY
Amanda Byrnes
Concerned Citizens of Otego
Otego, NY
Lee Bailey
700 Warren Rd 18-2E
Ithaca, NY
Sheila Sicilia
114 Terrace Circle
Syracuse, New York
Howard Weinblatt
2684 Kenyonville Rd.
Albion, NY
Charles Lewitz
462 15St. apt2L
Brooklyn, NY
Susan Mcdonnell
19 Susan Lane
Cortlandt Manor, NY
David DeVivo
15 New England Dr.
Rochester, N.Y. 14618
Vizma Leimanis
2831 LaFayette Rd.
LaFayette, NY
Carolina Tihanyi
937 Cumberland Ave
Syracuse, New York
Paula Rice
69 Thorndyke Rd
Rochester, NY
Angelika St.Laurent
1259 Dryden Road
Ithaca, NY
Michael Messina-Yauchzy
435 E Genesee Pkwy
Syracuse, NY
Barbara McPhail
179 Gorham Street
Canandaigua, NY
barbara ferro
3330 eager rd
jamesville, new york,13078
Mark Karlsen
Karlsen Enterprises, LLC (real estate investment company in finger lakes)
332 Aiken Rd
Trumansburg, NY
joseph caparulo
Caleb kime
home school
9399 west hill road
fillmore, NY
Francis Walsh
261 West 93 St #3
New York, NY
Anne F. Kriz,
Social Justice and Outreach Committee at Church of the Assumption, Fairport, New York
5886 Allen-Padgham Road
Farmington, New York
catherine middlesworth
tax payer
107 cleveland ave
syracuse, new york
kim berg
489 east rd
cadyville, new york
Michael Gorr
Southern Cayuga Anti-fracking Alliance
8 Deer Run
Skaneateles, NY
wanda zinski
9841 mallory road
sauquoit, new york
Ellen Maranca
Lauren Davie
58 Bone Plain Rd.
Freeville, New York
Kathleen Woodcock
167 Crescent Pl
Ithaca, NY
andy meigs
18 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY
Derek Mason
111 Kenner Rd
Minoa, NY
Quentin DeSarno
Hector, NY
David Bates
5623 Mack Road
Skaneateles, NY
Stephanie McMahon
6405 Palmiter Rd.
Alfred Station, NY
Madeleine Oakley
533 Linn St.
Ithaca, NY
Peter Hudiburg
Plymouth Friends of Clean Water
P.O. Box 61
South Plymouth, NY
Eugene Marner
1245 Oak Hill Road
Franklin, NY
Karl Klein
Sustainable Cortland
4648 N Tower Rd.
Cincinnatus, NY
Jean Sappell
542 Bostwick Road
Ithaca, NY
Deborah Banks
2541 Garfield Drive
Sparks, NV