On November 29, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) extended its review period for the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) on hydraulic fracturing by 90 days to allow the state Department of Health to review the potential public health impacts of the gas drilling process.
The state could make a final decision on hydrofracking as early as the end of February, 2013.
State Senator Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, said in an email blast that the public comment period on the Department of Health report will likely be too short.
Kreuger said she believes that hydrofracking will endanger New Yorkers' health and safety, and that she is particularly concerned about what hydrofracking -- which would take place primarily in rural areas -- would do to New York State's $4.4 billion agriculture industry.
A recent study by Michelle Bamberger and Robert Oswald, “Impacts of Gas Drilling on Animal and Human Health,” published in New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, found documented cases in six states strongly linking exposure to gas drilling operations with serious health consequences to humans, companion animals, livestock, horses, and wildlife, with production animals at greatest risk of exposure.
Kruger has asked the New York State Department of Agriculture to analyze the potential dangers hydrofracking poses to New York’s agricultural industry. The Department of Agriculture's review of fracking's impacts on our food supply should be part of the review by the State Department of Health, she said.
Related press release from New York Water Rangers.