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Scientists Deliver Hydrofracking Letter to Gov. Cuomo

By Dave Lucas


New Paltz, NY – Physicians, Scientists and Engineers for Healthy Energy delivered a letter Thursday morning to Governor Andrew Cuomo's office... It is signed by 59 scientists from around the world who have expertise in various chemical, engineering, geologic and other areas relevant to hydrofracking. Hudson Valley Bureau CHief Dave Lucas reports.

The letter is in response to the Governor's commitment to let science and health concerns drive his consideration of the the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement or SGEIS. Dr. Robert Howarth is a Professor of Ecology at Cornell University, an expert on environmental pollution. Howarth is troubled by the the state's position that fracking is too great a risk for watersheds serving New York City and Syracuse, municipalities that do not filter their drinking water but apparently an acceptable risk for the rest of New York, where filtering is common. Howarth notes the cost of implementing new filtration systems would be quite high ... Endocrinologist Dr. Adam Law says all New York residents deserve the same protection for drinking water.

John Holko, Secretary of The Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York, says protections are already in place. The scientists suggest Governor Cuomo commission a comprehensive Health Impact assessment prior to issuing any hyrdrofracking permits. The Governor's office did not return calls for comment.

Officials say that at last count, the proposed rules regarding gas drilling in New York State have already triggered more than 13,000 public comments. The comment period is set to end on December 12.

The DEC is only accepting comments through the department's website and through US Postal mail (SGEIS Comments, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-6510).