Updated with quote from Cuomo
Among a host of documents that have been distributed to the Department of Environmental Conservation’s hydrofracking advisory panel — but not publicly — have been a set of reports on the resources various state agencies would need if the technique used with natural gas drilling is given the green light in New York.
In today’s Gannett newspapers, we took a look at the Department of Health’s report, which shows the agency would need additional funding to help the DEC regulate and study health impacts. The full report is posted below.
From the D&C:
According to the document, which was obtained by Gannett’s Albany bureau, both the state and local health departments may need to bolster resources to deal with an anticipated surge if the state allows for the controversial natural gas drilling method.
While the state Department of Environmental Conservation is tasked with regulating the gas industry, the state Health Department anticipates it will be called on to investigate any potential public-health issues that arise from drilling.
Those could include assessing the toxicity of chemicals used with hydrofracking, investigating any health-related complaints, and initiating any studies if a spike of illness or diseases crops up near a drilling site, the report states.
“The long-term support that (the DEC) may need from the state and local health departments will vary depending on how the permitting program develops and the reaction of the public and others to (high-volume hydrofracking) drilling activity,” the report reads.
Asked today about the need to add staff to regulate hydrofracking, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the agencies would need to bolster resources if the state decides to move forward with the technique.
“If you were going to do fracking and if DEC says, the report comes out that we’ll do fracking, then would you put in place the resources and safeguards you need to do fracking? Of course,” Cuomo said.
Here’s the full report, which was provided to the DEC’s task force on Sept. 9: