Fracking panel member wants stronger NY health review

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A Southern Tier assemblywoman is asking the state to put an immediate pause on the Health Department’s review of hydraulic fracturing, instead calling for a more-comprehensive analysis that is “transparent and thorough.”

In a letter Wednesday to state Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell, Broome County, knocked the state’s current review of fracking’s health impacts.

The review, launched by Health Commissioner Nirav Shah a year ago, has been conducted with “no public notice, opportunity for public review or public hearing to listen to testimony from interested parties,” Lupardo noted.

“In order for the public to have confidence in New York State’s ‘health impact analysis’ of shale fracking, a comprehensive Public Health Impact Study should be undertaken openly and transparently to resolve all shale fracking concerns once and for all,” Lupardo wrote. “As you know, the Assembly majority has been pushing this for a number of years.”

Lupardo is a member of the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel, which was launched in July 2011 and tasked with coming up with an appropriate fee structure for gas drillers. But the panel, which includes a number of advocates on both sides of the issue, hasn’t met since December 2011.

In her letter, Lupardo again asked Martens to re-convene the panel to assess the status of Shah’s health review. Her previous request for a panel meeting was rebuffed by Martens in February, according to the letter.

“With so many questions lingering in the public’s mind about health impacts related to (fracking), it makes sense to move ahead in a way that will provide meaningful answers,” Lupardo wrote.

There’s been no recent indication when Shah’s review may be completed, which is one of the last remaining hurdles ahead of a decision on whether to open the Marcellus Shale to fracking. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was last asked about the issue in September, when he said there was “nothing new” to report.

Here’s Lupardo’s full letter:

Letter to Commissioner Joe Martens October 7, 2013 by Donna Lupardo

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7 Comments

  1. Hell no Lupardo must GO

    repeating a health study what other states have done is nothing more then a delay tactic and unnecessary tax burden and added cost to tax payers. this kind of politics is why NYS is last in business friedly 2 years running

  2. Victor Furman on

    I agree the study should be available for public review and then they will see that the impacts are nothing like the anti claims and we can get on with drilling. WE DO NOT NEED TO START OVER JUST SHOW WHATS BEEN DONE ALREADY WHY THROW OUT WORK DONE….. ONLY A POLITICIAN WOULD WASTE TAX MONEY ON A REDO.

  3. right on Oberserver!

    Why these nut bags don’t want a cheap domestic energy source is beyond me. I wish they’d all move to the middle east already and they can bring their solar dishes with them if they like.

  4. ANY ACTIVIST WHO SPEAKS OUT ON THE EXTREME END OF FEAR MONGERING for the purpose of slandering and scarring the public out of their wits, without proof of what the preach, or scientific analysis should not be allowed to buy any petrol or the products derived from them, for a one year period.

  5. So proud of my Assemblymember Donna Lupardo! The state needs good and complete scientific information in order to reach a decision on HVHF and a proper public health impact assessment is an important part of the research needed. She is also correct that the advisory panel needs to meet and get back to work on the tasks with which they were charged by the governor.

  6. why is Lupardo trying to keep upstate NY poor without jobs and servants to the NRDC? Why is Donna Lupardo willing to toss out hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars to delay drilling in NY for health studies already completed here and in other states? Why in 20 10 did Lupardo address Upstate NY that she was on the fence when it came to fracking but sent Elaine Perkus of NYRAD a message on her cell phone that Elaine proudly played to pro gas drillers at an anti frack meeting in Vestal NY in 2010 where Lupardo stated. “Something came up and I can’t make the meeting tonight. I applaud your efforts to stop fracking keep up the good work” making this statement to anti gas activist while telling landowners at a rally she is still on the fence up to 2 years after that meeting. Perhaps the answer lies here:http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2013/10/10/assemblyman-lalor-washington-may-be-broken-but-albany-is-in-far-worse-shape/
    Lupardo has shown us it’s politics as usual… anything to keep her job even lying