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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

Tom Blecher
313 Utica Street
Ithaca, NY
John Breitbart
255 West 95 St., #1A
New York, NY
David Kalb
171 Groton Rd
Freeville, NY
Carlton (Tom) Kissner
377 Westchester Ave. 2-J
Port Chester, NY
Dorothy Hartz
115 Nelson Rd.
Fremont Center, NY
Martha K Brewster
376 Shaffer Road
Newfield, New York
Alice` Bartholomew
415 Wall Street
Elmira, NY
Lily Schor
65 Circle Drive
Hastings on Hudson, New York
Deborah Kahkejian
398 State Route 69
Williamstown, NY
Karen Greenberg
922 County Road 94
Fremont Cente, New York
Laura Neiman
60 Seaman ave 5g
New York, New York
Walter Ditman
35-36 80th St.
Jackson Heights, New York
Gerald Wolfe
474 Snyder Hill Rd.
Ithaca, NY
James Karpinski
3400 Halseyville Rd.
Trumansburg, NY
George Manley
PO BOX 1335
Woodstock, NY
John Bowers
1406 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca, NY
Peter Reese
49 Starn Avenue
Buffalo, NY
David Ethridge
215 Bryant Ave
Ithaca, New York
Zsa Johnstone-Mosher
525 West 238 Street, #N4
Bronx, New York
Margaret McCasland
Lansing, NY
Ron Bernhardt
Marena Gonz
26 Frederick Road
Binghamton, New York
Sharon Osika-Michales
4411 Vinegar Hill Rd.
Skaneateles, NY
Al Benner
303 Upper Woods Road
Honesdale, Pennsylvania
Jennifer Lahey
1 Orchard Drive
South Salem, NY
Linda Bevilacqua
964 Finch Rd
Franklin, NY
Reeve Parker
123 N. Quarry Street
Ithaca, NY
Julietta Eisenberg
66 W. 94th St., #5D
NY, NY, 10025
Clayton Smith
162 Peakville Rd
East Branch, NY
Daniel McCormack
13 Beehive Rd.
Accord, NY
R. Judelson
E. 7th Street
New York, NY
manuel rodriguez
1559 betts hill road
delhi, ny
Leslie Kurzweil
2250 N. Triphammer Rd.
Ithaca, NY
Laurie Conrad
405 E Lincoln St
Ithaca, NY
Nancy Kasper
9393 York Settlement Rd
North Rose, NY
Lynne Thermann
P. O. Box 193
Claryville, New York
Douglas Kinney
525 Crawford Road
Otego, NY
Annette Gurdo
212 Madison Street
Waterville, New York
Angela Manno
Friends in Unity with Nature
42 Commerce St
New York, NY
Mary Menapace
Upstate Medical University
2487 East Lake Rd.
Skaneateles, NY
Kelly Serbonich
1314 E. State St.
Ithaca, NY
Kyllikki Inman
110 Halcyon Hill
Ithaca, NY
charles hooper
1857 state route 96
trumansburg, ny
Frank Romero
18 Court Street
Deposit, New York
Steve Lloyd
3279 Hayden Rd
Marietta , NY
Scott Wilson
180 Baker Road
South New Berlin, New York
Mary A Thuma
PO Box 613, 120 Pleasant Meadow Road
Cooperstown, NY
Gillian Haines -Sharp
108 E Yates St
Ithaca, New York