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Fracking Foes Call on Cuomo to Restart Environmental Review

Bob Joseph/WNBF News file photo

Opponents of high-volume hydraulic fracturing have sent a message to Governor Cuomo urging him to stop the shale gas rulemaking process involving New York State’s environmental regulatory agency.

The group also called on Cuomo to restart the environmental review proceeding to require public involvement in the state Department of Health impact analysis of potential fracking.

Walter Hang, president of Ithaca-based Toxics Targeting, says the letter was sent to the governor prior to Thursday’s deadline for the Department of Environmental Conservation to wrap up its shale gas rulemaking effort.

Speaking on WNBF Radio’s Binghamton Now program, Hang said a deadline extension should not be authorized because the health department’s analysis of the DEC health impact study hasn’t been completed.

Hang said no one knows the scope of the health department review because it’s never been publicized.

Hang said there should be a “time out” to avoid a rush to judgment on the potential health impact of fracking. He said it’s important for the public to have a say in how the health review is conducted.

In Hang’s view, the way the state’s been moving on the assessing possible health effects of fracking has amounted to “putting the cart before the horse.”

He said it’s inappropriate to go forward with the rulemaking process until a health review can be conducted with information about how the DEC proposes to oversee shale gas development that would utilize the fracking process.

Hang said Binghamton mayor Matthew Ryan and Tompkins County legislator Pamela Mackesey are among those who signed the coalition letter to Cuomo.

Leaders of several anti-fracking organizations also signed the message to the governor.

 

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