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Shah: Health review of fracking needs more time

Feb 13, 2013 6:07 am
Brian Nearing reports in the Times Union state Health Department Commissioner Nirav Shah said Tues., Feb. 12, a key health review of natural gas hydrofracking is going to take longer. In a letter to Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens, Shah wrote his agency's review of an unreleased DEC health study on potential health impacts from hydrofracking will require additional time to complete "based on the complexity of the issues." However, Martens said that might not necessarily delay a DEC decision on hydrofracking. Shah said the Health Department's experts need more time to review recent and pending scientific studies on potential health impacts from the process, including: A report issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that examines impacts on drinking water and a health study in Pennsylvania that is examining possible connections to asthma and other respiratory diseases. Sandra Steingraber, head of New Yorkers Against Fracking said, "We are confident that such a review will show that the costs of fracking in terms of public health are unacceptable." Hydrofracking is a gas drilling technique that been reviewed for more than four years and has spawned a vocal opposition movement concerned over potential pollution of water and air. Groups that support fracking insist the technique is safe. Read the full story in the Times Union.
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