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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

Chris Stoscheck
141 A;bee Hill Road
Van Etten, NY
Karen Chimento
ClearView Psychotherapy Associates
202 The Commons #412
Ithaca, New York
Irina Peress
Carter Creek Road
Newfield, NY
Eileen McCorry
35 W. 81 Street
New York, New York
James Schroeder
2056 West 21st. St.
Chicago, IL
Robyn Bem
3 Ringwood Court West
Ithaca, NY
Elizabeth Watts
16 Starks Place
Lynbrook, NY
Thomas Marion
85 Mountaintop Lane
Deposit, NY
William Messner
178 Ellis Hill Rd
Arkport, NY
Janet ievins
712 S Modoc Av
Medford, OR
Patricia Witten
151 Wood Rd
Freeville, NY
Susan Sullivan
7878 SR 52
Narrowsburg, NY
Anna Sears
R-CAUSE (Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction)
3021 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, NY
Dam Flerlage
881 bostwick road
ithaca, ny
Sara Schaffzin
313 Utica Street
Ithaca, New York
Julie Mundt
607 Broad St., 1st Fl. Left
Endicott, NY
Bernie O'Doherty
607 Broad St., 1st Fl. Left
Endicott, NY
Jane Blake
507 Gabel Road
Callicoon, NY 12723
Donna Mundt
P.O. Box 187
Newark Valley, NY
George Mundt
P.O. Box 187
Newark Valley, ny
Anne Haas
1957 County Road 3
Olivebridge, NY
Donald Mintz
29 Whig Street
Trumansburg, New York
Daniel Ripperton
337 Rachel Carson Trail
Ithaca, New York
Martha Scoppa
32 Cold Spring Road
Liberty, NY
Lisa Ripperton
337 Rachel Carson Trail
Ithaca, New York
Devin Henry
2593 E River Rd
Nichols, NY
Douglas Vitarius
Sanford-Oquaga Area Concerned Citizens
2452 Old Route 17
Windsor, New York
Jacquelyn Clinton
1109 N. Cayuga Street
Ithaca, NY
Lisa Valiente
Easter Seals Joliet Region Inc.
237 Picardy Lane
Bolingbrook, Illinois
Amy Durland
33 Lakewood Dr
Saratoga Springs, NY
Cynthia Chase
Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Cornell University
909 Wyckoff Rd.
Ithaca, New York
Nancy Medsker
67 Marsh Rd.
Ithaca, NY
David Farley
9090Rhodes rd
Lodi, NY
Margo Alexander
5585 Searsburg Rd.
Trumansburg, New York
Ted Zinski
9841 Mallory Rd.
Sauquoit, New York
Mitchell Lavine
719 Ringwood Rd
Ithaca, NY
Suzy Kramer
406 N. Cayuga St.
Ithaca, NY
Diana Voellinger
Irondequoit Citizens Concerned About Hydrofracking
264 Eaton Rd
Rochester, NY
Elsa Leviseur
122 Union St
Hudson, NY
Rita Kuzma
French and Spanish Professor
SUNY at Brockport
6912 Byron-Holley Rd.
Byron, New york
Abbe Lyons
154 Westhaven Road
Ithaca, NY
Michael Kane
Shamrock Hill Farm
472 Monkey Run Rd.
Port Crane, New York
Noreen Stevenson
16 Elm Street
Chester, New York
Allen Carstensen
23 Strowbridge St
Trumansburg, NY
Camille Doucet
30 Marsh Rd
Ithaca, NY
Maureen Culbert
5469 US Highway 20
East Springfield, NY
Elisa Evett
298 Bald Hill Rd.
Brooktondale, New York
Dorothy Tang
Cooperstown, New York
Daniel Belliveau
95 Lafayette Avenue
Geneva, New York