NY’s tab for outside fracking health review? $24,000 max

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About two hours after the Colorado School of Public Health released its own agreement, the New York Department of Health unveiled a second contract with an academic expert assessing its hydrofracking review.

The state will pay George Washington University $241.68 per hour for the work of Lynn Goldman, the dean of its public health school. The payment will be capped at a maximum of $12,000, according to the contract.

As reported yesterday, the Colorado School of Public Health will be reimbursed at a rate of $480 per hour, also capped at $12,000. John Adgate, the chair of the school’s environmental health department, is performing the review.

The third academic professional — Richard Jackson of UCLA — is working pro bono, according to Health Department.

“The consultants were selected based on their scientific expertise, credentials and knowledge of the subject matter,” said Bill Schwarz, a Department of Health spokesman.

The Health Department unveiled the panel of experts earlier this month, tasking them with providing “advice and recommendations related to public health impacts and mitigations, if necessary, of high-volume hydraulic fracturing.” Large-scale hydrofracking has been on hold since 2008 as the state completes an environmental review of the process.

Here’s the two contracts. A contract with the Colorado School of Public Health is first — we posted it here yesterday — followed by the newly released agreement with George Washington University:

Health Impact Contracts

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  1. See! It’s true! Women really DO have to work twice as hard as a man to get ahead. LOL. Conversely, women get paid half as much (241.68 per hour) as men ($480 per hour) for the same job.

    Now you could say that Dean Goldman (a woman) should have bargained harder. Fortunately, she can remedy getting screwed by NYS…even now.

    If Ms. Goldman has any self-respect, she’ll tell Cuomo to take his consulting job and shove it up his behind.

    Same goes for Mr. Jackson. It’s one thing to be a nice guy and say that you’ll do something pro-bono. It’s quite another to have NYS make an idiot out of you by paying somebody nearly $500 an hour to do the same thing you were going to do for free.

    NYS can’t FORCE the professors to do ANYTHING. This isn’t like OGS signing a contract to buy 10,000 boxes of paper clips and then Office Max wants decides it wants more money. Deans Goldman and Jackson can simply forego payment for the little, if any, work they’ve done so far and bow out. Those contracts ere only signed about 10 days ago anyway. The state gave themselves 30 days to change their minds. The Deans deserve the same courtesy.

    There’s nothing worse than a cheapskate…and a sexist one to boot. Commissioner Shah and Andrew take the cake! A mere $25,000 spent on evaluating the health risk to New Yorkers? And there’s no testing of wells…or ANYTHING…pre-fracking?

    We all know what’s going to happen for $25,000. The (honest) Deans will simply read the latest SGEIS and tell you, yes, there are health risks. As if we didn’t know that already. So…where do we and DEC go with THAT?! Beats me, unless Andy’s goal is to ban hydrofracking in NYS…which is a laughable supposition.

  2. BTW, Mr. Cambell, have you pondered (1) the LARGE size of the “intervenor fund” for something as mundane (in my opinion) as siting a power plant versus (2) the crappy $25,000 the state is spending to look into the health risks of fracking. And Cuomo only arranged the health study (such as it is) under duress.

    Here’s some info from a law firm’s website regarding Cuomo’s Article X bill that was passed in 2011:

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    “Unlike the previous Article X, the new legislation requires the funding of a “pre-application” intervenor account. This account is intended to fund pre-application expenses incurred by municipal and local parties (including individuals and community groups) for expert witnesses, consultants, and legal and administrative fees. The new Article X requires the applicant to pay $350/MW of the proposed facility’s generating capacity up to a maximum payment of $200,000 for the pre-application phase fund. The intervenor fund may be used to pay legal fees, but it may not be used to pay fees incurred in litigation.”

    {snip}

    “In addition to the pre-application intervenor account described above, the new Article X requires the project sponsor to establish an application phase intervenor account to fund costs for municipal and local parties to a proceeding. Under the new Article X, an application must be accompanied by a fee of $1,000/MW up to a maximum of $400,000. This cap raises significantly the previous cap of $150,000 under the earlier law.”

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    T-t-t-two-hundred THOUSAND dollars? 400,000? $350 per megawatt? $1,0000 per megawatt?!!! Now THAT’S a serious chunk of change for something far less risky than hydrofracking. And it’s given by the potential power plant owners to their OPPONENTS (like environmentalists) to level the playing field in the debate over whether to allow a new power plant to be built someplace.

    There was an intervenor fund for simply RENEWING the license of NYPA’s Niagara Power Plant in Lewiston, too. I’m pretty sure that an intervenor fund is par for the course in ANY license renewal.

    Cuomo’s priorities are mind boggling. Or maybe it’s his HYPOCRISY that makes a person’s head spin.

    In what universe does Cuomo live that he thinks a $25,000 health study (compliments of the State of New York) is an adequate counterbalance to the desires of big energy companies to frack New York up?