February 21, 2018

NY State Consultant Slams Fracking

Says fracking involves “substantial concerns and major uncertainties”
By Scott Waldman, Politico Magazine, March 7, 2014

A consultant hired by the state Health Department to assist in a review of the health effects of fracking recently published a study that concluded “substantial concerns and major uncertainties” should be resolved before it is expanded nationally.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has indicated that his final, long-awaited decision on whether to permit fracking will depend on the department’s findings.

John Adgate, of the Colorado School of Public Health, surveyed a number of recent health-related studies of fracking and published his findings last month in the Environmental Science & Technology journal. He is one of three consultants hired by state health commissioner Nirav Shah in 2012 to help assess the state’s fracking review to ensure it will protect public health.

In the survey, Adgate and his co-authors wrote that fracking disrupts communities.

“For communities near development and production sites the major stressors are air pollutants, ground and surface water contamination, truck traffic and noise pollution, accidents and malfunctions, and psychosocial stress associated with community change,” wrote Adgate and his two co-authors.

Another expert, UCLA professor Richard Jackson, hired by Shah concluded fracking was dangerous and dumped pollution into the atmosphere. State officials have said Adgate and Jackson’s work will be included in Shah’s final report.

Shah refuses to say when he will finish his healthy study on high-volume hydraulic hydrofracking, which has been under moratorium since 2008. Shah also will not reveal which studies he is using to form his opinion, though he did reference one that found substances near fracking wells in Colorado linked to infertility, birth defects and cancer.

Cuomo has said he won’t make a decision until Shah’s work is finished, and that doesn’t appear likely before election day.

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said recently that he doesn’t expect to issue any permits until 2015, if ever. By the state’s own estimates, fracking could bring 25,000 jobs to the Southern Tier.