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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

John Striley
2088 Rte 26
Endicott, NY
Gary Stephens
9905 Turnpike Rd
E Meredith, NY
Terezka Korinek
378 Thomas Rd.
Ithaca, NY
Shirley Rice
3467 South Hill Road
Burdett, New York
Carolyn Fellman
15 Park St.
Moravia, NY
Leslie Simons
53 Pleasant Hill Rd
New Windsor, NY
David Gould
309 Amber Lake Rd
Livingston Manor, NY
Susn Andrews
15 Park St.
Moravia, NY
Denis Orloff
109 Kelly Road
Shandaken, NY
Lansing Central Schools
300 Ridge Road
Lansing, NY
Grace Van Hulsteyn
364 New Turnpike Rd
Cochecton, NY
Arlene Hughes
Concerned Citizens Allegany County
3124 Wolf Creek Road
Cuba, New York
Cherry Rahn
16 Jay St
Geneva, NY
John Hughes
Concerned Citizens of Allegany County
3124 Wolf Creek Road
Cuba, NY
David Davis
Concerned Citizens of Oxford
28 Butler Street
Oxford, New York
The Rev. Nancy Lane, Ph.D.
186 Bower
Elmira, NY
Emma Bedor
72 Monroe Street
Geneva, NY
Dirk Davey
30 Buck Rd.
Lansing, NY
Elsie Rhodes
First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown
25 Church Street
Cooperstown, New York
Raylene Ludgate
223 Canaan Rd
Brooktondale , NY
Maureen Healy
Coalition Against the Rockaway Pipeline
1175 73rd St
Brooklyn, NY
Marvin Goldstein
Lynn Ellen Marsh
Landscape Alternatives, LLC
155 Beaver Street, Roseboom
Cherry Valley, NY
Lois Gundrum
600 Third Avenue
Watervliet, NY 12189
Joan Stein
143 Eastland Avenue
Rochester, New York
Betsy Spada
69 Floral Avenue
Cortland, New York
Julie Carpentwr
192 Van Dorn Road South
Ithaca, NY
Marsha Lipshitz
428 East 77th Street, #4A
New York, NY
Rosa Lee
Wholistic Practitioner
Erehwon Health Retreat
417 Rock Hill Drive
Rock Hill, New York
Barbara and Anthony Morris
8450 Gallagher Rd
Hammondsport, NY
Sean Zigmund
64 Mineral Springs Rd.
Livingston Manor, NY
Paul Trepes
PO Box 752
Hammondsport, New York
Marilyn Gold
101 Oak
Brooklyn, NY
Geraldine Aird
41 Ely Drive
Fayetteville, NY
James Ayers
759 Samsonville Road
Kerhonkson, NY
Scott & Suzanne Pedersen
40 Highgate Circle
Ithaca, NY
Eric london
PO Box 913
Smallwood, NY
Shyama Orum
305 West 28 St. Apt 16E
New York, NY
Barbara Keshishoglou
293 Nelson Road
Ithaca, NY
Linda A. DeStefano
5031 Onondaga Rd.
Syracuse, NY
Matthew Parks
41 Apple Hill Rd
Brewster, NY
Carl Good
21 Lake St
Cooperstown, N Y
Pamela Stanley
Horace W. Goldsmith Chair and Professor
Albert Einstein College Medicine
380 Riverside Drive
New York, NY
Anthony Fazio
Peaceful Spirit Acupuncture
422 Taylor Place
Ithaca, NY
Sandra Carrubba
200 East Hazeltine Avenue
Buffalo, NY
Judy Jensvold
Ithaca, NY
Timothy Gera
1 Peaceful Drive
Ithaca, NY
Gene Polito
45 Shady Rest Dr
Sag Harbor, NY 11963
C. Brown Thomas
citizen, Otsego County, NY
7 Hudson St
Oneonta, NY
David Gallahan
511 Spencer Rd
Ithaca, NY