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Letter to Members of the DEC Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel

Dear Members of the DEC Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel:

As you know, the New York State Department of Health and three outside experts are conducting a "review" of the "health impact analysis" presented in the Department of Environmental Conservation's Revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS).

That "review" is being conducted in secrecy without any public participation whatsoever. That is shockingly improper and an affront to open and transparent government decision-making.

I respectfully request that you write to Governor Cuomo or DEC Commissioner Martens to require:

a) immediate public notice of the intent and scope of the DOH "health impact analysis" Review;

b) a 30-day minimum public comment period;

c) at least one public hearing to require the reviewers to hear testimony from interested parties; and

d) a restart of the SGEIS proceeding to allow public comment about how best to resolve all the concerns documented about DOH's inadequate review.

The DOH Review is critically important because no final decision will be made about permitting shale gas fracturing in New York until it is completed. That is why it is imperative that the Review be comprehensive and properly undertaken. Until the DOH Review is finished, no Final SGEIS will be adopted and no shale gas revised rulemaking will be finalized.

It is entirely appropriate that Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel members address the shortcomings of the DOH Review. As you know, Advisory Panel members are charged with: "developing recommendations to avoid and mitigate impacts to local governments and communities." See:

Given that mandate, I would like to commend Advisory Panel Member Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo for writing to DEC Commissioner Martens to voice concerns about a lack of public participation in the DOH Review: See her coverage:

Add anything else your heart desires here:

Very truly yours,