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New York Asked To Study Fracking Health Impacts | cialis online

New York Asked To Study Fracking Health Impacts

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In response to the ongoing controversy in New York State regarding potential hydraulic fracturing—fracking—activities planned in the Marcellus Shale, the state has been asked to study fracking health impacts before proceeding.

In a letter to NY State governor Andrew Cuomo, 250 medical professionals and environmentalists are calling for a health risk study of the impacts of natural gas drilling before the practice is allowed there, said ProPublica. The letter, sent this week, notes that NY’s plans to regulate the environmentally devastating practice does not consider the growing evidence that fracking poses significant human health harms. The group asked the Governor to assess the rates of disease in areas planned for fracking so that a baseline can be made, risks can be isolated, and steps can be put in place to minimize risks, said ProPublica.

Emily DeSantis, a Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman, disagrees, saying state officials took health risks into consideration when creating new regulations for high-volume fracking, said ProPublica; the regulations were released last week. “Because New York has developed the most rigorous requirements in the nation to protect the public health and the environment,” DeSantis wrote in an email, “a comparison of health impacts in other states is inappropriate.”

Many disagree and environmentalists and residents point to issues with contaminated groundwater; tap water that bursts into flames when near a fire, source such as a match; earthquakes and increased seismic activities; devastated infrastructure; and significant environmental damage.

Three years ago, NY banned fracking at the same time that drilling began in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. A NY’s ban on fracking expired July 1, the same day the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recommended fracking be permitted on most of NY’s private lands, save for environmentally sensitive watersheds that are drinking water suppliers to New York City and Syracuse.

In Pennsylvania, fracking activities have led to increased health problem reports near drilling sites, said ProPublica; a serious issue given that no federal or state governmental entity tracks or studies health problem reports that originate with fracking site activities. Recently, Governor Tom Corbett proposed a drilling fee to provide Pennsylvania’s state health department $1-2 million annually to pull together and review health complaints.

Meanwhile, in Colorado, a health impact assessment concluded that new fracking activities would most probably adversely impact residents’ health, said ProPublica. Not unexpectedly, industry criticized the findings. County officials called off the work before a final report was issued, said ProPublica.

Bernard Goldstein, professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Public Health, scolded Pennsylvania officials for approving new natural gas drilling activities without fully reviewing health impacts, said ProPublica. Although Professor Goldstein did not sign the letter to Governor Cuomo, he told ProPublica that he supports the move and cautions NY to learn from Pennsylvania’s mistakes. “To me, the idea of rushing ahead basically refutes all we’ve learned in environmental health science over the last 40 years,” he said, reported ProPublica..

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