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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: 1254

Evan Remash
241 S 2nd Street
Brooklyn , NY
Michael Frys
949 Conklin Rd
Conklin, NY
Corinna Lewis
Susan Pixley
The Nature Conservancy
83 Huntington Meadow
Rochester, NY
Jeremy Crytzer
8202 Route 96
Interlaken, NY
Nancy Sharpe
216 6th St.
Liverpool, New York
Waldo Babcock
7284 Waldo Rd
Prattsburgh, NY
Louis Linder
21 Pine Rd
Briarcliff Manor, New York
Chris Saia
12 McGuinness Blvd. S.
Brooklyn,, New York
Megan Gregory
415 Mitchell St.
Ithaca, NY
Carl Rosenstock
Program Leader
Social Security Administration
270 1st St
Brooklyn, New York
Susan Deane-Miller
Gina Santonas
211 Cornelia St
Brooklyn, NY
Elizabeth Callahan
895 County Highway 5
Otego, NY
Marilyn Webb
703 N. Cayuga Street
Ithaca, NY
Susan Ruff
6 Kolb Road
Binghamton, NY
Amy Lipton
PO Box 10 1140 Route 9D
Garrison, NY
Judy Freilicher
P.O. Box 93
DeRuyter, New York
Ann Swanson
Tech Dir
117 School St in Mosherville
Millerton, PA 16936, 4201 Massachusetts Ave NW Ste 7040 Wash., DC 20016
Karen K Smith
68 Mary St.
Ithaca, NY
George Stadnik
24-66 44 Street
Astoria, NY
David Heck
310 E. Court St.
Ithaca, New York
Brad Walrod
5587 State Route 52
Kenoza Lake, NY
Malcolm Campbell
Society for Humanistic Judaism
221 Dubois Road
Ithaca, NY
David Lubell
1074 Smith Rd
Worcester, New York
Stacey Urhammer
2510 Donna Drive
Eureka, CA
Taffy Williams
191 Westchester Avenue
Tuckahoe, New York
Alfred Tinger
136 Dorchester Drive
Yorktown Heights, NY
Kara Emmons
30 East Mayer Drive
Suffern, New York
Diane Bonaccorsi
580 Nelson Rd.
Ithaca, NY
Marian Rose
Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition, Inc.
9 Old Corner Road
Bedford, NY 10506
Sheila Long
Transfiguration Monastery
701 New York Route 79
Windsor, NY
John Mcveigh
1842 Trails End Lane, PO box 127
Dan Page
460W 42nd Street Apt 53C
New York, NY
Megan Johnston
Po box 433
Trumansburg , New York
Margaret Smith-Burke
141 Wooster St. Apt 8B
New York , NY
Leslie Gold
103 Bowery
John and Martha Stoltenberg
N8362 State Highway 67, P.O. Box 596
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
Daniel Otis
815 N. Tioga
Ithaca, NY
Eileen Blau
John McClelland
139 School St.
Millerton, PA
Robert Lidsky
622 Ridge Rd
Andes, New York
Timothuy Murray
2262 Slaterville Road
Ithaca, New York
Gloria Foster
3906 Chatham Lane
Canandaigua, NY
Robert Elwyn III
Permaculture Designer
Permaculture Institute
24 west main st
marathon, ny
Rick Drago
3605 13 th st
Astoria, New York
David Sibley
2 Dove Drive
Ithaca, NY
Lisa Struzinsky
Susan Mead
219 W. Lincoln St.
Ithaca, NY
Karen Butler
317 C.H. 40
Worcester, NY