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Governor Cuomo: Please disclose how the findings and recommendations of your Dept. of Health's Public Health Review of Shale Fracking will be translated into public policy

March 14, 2015

Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that you publicly disclose how the findings and recommendations of your Department of Health's A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) For Shale Gas Development will be translated into public policy.

We further request that you address the detailed concerns presented below before adopting any Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS).

Key Public Health Review Conclusion

The Public Health Review's key conclusion is:

"Until the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from HVHF to all New Yorkers and whether the risks can be adequately managed, DOH recommends that HVHF should not proceed in New York State."

See page one at: https://www.health.ny.gov/press/reports/docs/high_volume_hydraulic_fracturing.pdf

Request for Public Disclosure as well as Open and Transparent Decision Making Process

While we applaud your administration's landmark Public Health Review conclusion, it is unclear how it will be translated into public policy. We write today to request that you clarify this matter.

First, please make clear whether your administration plans to ban permanently all high volume hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus Shale in New York through a legally-binding prohibition or adopt some other form of shale fracking prohibition.

Second, it is our understanding that your Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will implement the Public Health Review's findings and recommendations by adopting a Final SGEIS and issuing a Findings Statement to conclude the proceeding.

Even though you stated on 12/17/14 that those actions would be "self-executing," we respectfully request that you reveal the scope of the Final SGEIS before any final action is taken on the matter.

The original purpose of the SGEIS was to provide permit guidelines for shale gas extraction. That is implicit in the SGEIS title: "Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in the Marcellus Shale and Other Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs."

We are concerned that a Final SGEIS might permit HVHF in the future without any further public review or comment and despite the prohibition recommended in the Public Health Review.

We also believe it would be premature to adopt HVHF permit guidelines before resolving the shortcomings documented in the Public Health Review and otherwise brought to your attention.

Given these concerns, we respectfully request that you: a) immediately provide written public notice regarding the scope of the proposed Final SGEIS proceeding, b) hold public hearings about the proceeding and c) accept public comments to resolve questions about this critical matter openly, transparently and with full formal public participation before adopting a Final SGEIS.

Please Address Fundamental Shortcomings Documented in the Public Health Review

The Public Health Review states: "Based on this review, it is apparent that the science surrounding HVHF activity is limited, only just beginning to emerge, and largely suggests only hypotheses about potential public health impacts that need further evaluation (emphasis added)."

The Public Health Review also notes: "many of the published reports investigating both environmental impacts that could result in human exposures and health implications of HVHF activities are preliminary or exploratory in nature (emphasis added)."

The Public Health Review cautions: "Furthermore, the public health impacts from HVHF activities could be significantly broader than just those geographic locations where the activity actually occurs, thus expanding the potential risk to a large population of New Yorkers (emphasis added)."

See pages one and two at: https://www.health.ny.gov/press/reports/docs/high_volume_hydraulic_fracturing.pdf

Please Address "Significant Uncertainties" Documented in the Public Health Review

We also respectfully request that you disclose how DEC and DOH propose to address the "significant uncertainties" referenced in the Public Health Review regarding:

"the kinds of adverse health outcomes that may be associated with HVHF,"

"the likelihood of the occurrence of adverse health outcomes," and

"the effectiveness of some of the mitigation measures in reducing or preventing environmental impacts which could adversely affect public health."

See page two at: https://www.health.ny.gov/press/reports/docs/high_volume_hydraulic_fracturing.pdf

Please Address the Most Important Decision Specified by the Public Health Review

We request that you disclose how New York State will decide when:

"the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from HVHF to all New Yorkers and whether the risks can be adequately managed..."

All these Public Health Review procedural matters are critical to determining if HVHF will ever be allowed to proceed in New York. That is why it is imperative that you address these matters without delay.

Draft SGEIS Shortcomings Also Must Be Resolved Before Final SGEIS is Adopted

Tens of thousands of concerned citizens, legislators, academic researchers, business owners, religious leaders and health professionals have respectfully written you to document grave concerns about the Final Revised Draft SGEIS' numerous technical shortcomings as well as that it is indisputably outdated and lacks current information.

See: http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/cuomo/coalition_letter/2011

http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/letters/2014/6/23/coalition-letter-withdraw-sgeis

Conclusion

We trust that you will find our requests self-explanatory, but please do not hesitate to contact us if we can clarify our concerns. We look forward to receiving your prompt reply.

In conclusion, we wish to thank you, Commissioners Joe Martens and Dr. Howard Zucker, as well as all your DEC and DOH colleagues for their dedicated work performed under challenging circumstances to safeguard the public health of "all New Yorkers" as well as the environment of our state from shale fracking hazards. We commend your public service.

Always very respectfully,

Total Signatory Count: 1228

Bartholomew Daly
107 Clarke St
Syracuse, NY
Jean Cushman
volunteer
Food and Water Watch
247 Linden Avenue
Towson, Maryland
Joanne Cipolla-Dennis
964 West Dryden Rd
Freeville, NY
Vicki fox
ms
67 wodenethe Dr
beacon, New York
Katherine Denison
7272 Ontario Center Rd
Ontario , NY
Fran Littin
Owner
Sheldrake Point Winery
1359 Taughannock Blvd
Ithaca, NY
Jeremy Alderson
Hector, NY
Chris Furst
215 N Cayuga St #344
Ithaca, NY
Sally Crow
Smithville Flats, New York
Dan Flerlage
Teacher
LACS
881 Bostwick Road
Ithaca, New York
Gail Goldsmith
82 FORSYTH ST.
NEW YORK, NY
Susan Lausell
14 Elder Drive
Morristown, NJ
Sarah Gagnon
2353 Spencer Road
West Danby, NY
Donald Gregorius
Legislator
Ulster County Legislature
172 Van Dale Rd.
Woodstock, NY
Thomas Becker
9393 York Settlement RD.
North Rose, New York
Joel Gagnon
2353 Spencer Road
West Danby, NY
Joanne Corey
Vestal Residents for Safe Energy (VeRSE)
Member
209 Lewis St
Vestal, New York
Rita Kuzma
Language Professor
SUNY Brockport
6912 Byron-holley Rd
Byron, New York
Geraldine (Geri) Aird
Mrs.
41 Ely Drive
Fayetteville, NY
R. Stepanik
Mrs.
13 Fiora Dr
Fairport, New York
Mona Perrotti
67 Utica Street
Clinton, NY
Linda Wimmer
747 N Quaker Hill Road
Pawling, New York
Lena Guyot
165 Goose St.
Fly Creek, NY
Camille Doucet
30 Marsh Rd
Ithaca, NY
Abbe Lyons
154 Westhaven Road
Ithaca, NY
robert parker
90 dunk hill road
walton, New York
Carolee Byrnes
Concerned Citizens of Otego
127 County Highway 5
Otego, New York
margaret bazura
90 dunk hill road
walton, New York
John Benson
5461 Hornby Rd
Beaver Dams, NY
Patricia Vendryes
Groton, NY
Lisa Lippitt
1 Brunner Hollow
Cooperstown, ny
Ben Altman
1041 Comfort Road
Danby, NY
John Suter
Brooktondale Rd
Ithaca, New York
Jim Rundle
103 Nelson Road
Ithaca, Choose...
Arthur Rifkin
7 Fourth Rd
Great Neck, NY
Kathryn Rehner
6115 mount road
Trumansburg, Nytstio
Mary Ann Clark
348 State Route 69
Williamstown, New York
Devin Henry
2593 E River Rd
Nichols, New York
Nancy Kasper
Earth Eden Sanctuary
9393 York Settlement Rd
North Rose, New York (NY)
harold kugelmass
PO Box 264
Interlaken, NY
Elaine Livingston
1403 Glenwood Road
Vestal, NY
Bridget Reynolds
6936 Twin Valley Terrace
Almond, NY
Mary Dominick
Mrs.
4383 Belleflower Circle
Syracuse, New York
Barbara Appel
Ms.
56 Lake Road
Dryden, New York
Roseann Marrero
121 Blueberry Drive
Deposit, New York
Margaret McCasland
1893-A East Shore Drive
Lansing, NY
Theresa F Alt
member
Democratic Socialists of America
206 Eddy St
Ithaca, New York
Margaret Goodman
51 Broomall Lane
Glen Mills, PA
Alice Artzt
Mitchell Lavine
Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition
719 Ringwood Rd
Ithaca, NY

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