Late yesterday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation filed a notice to move forward with rules for fracking, putting the state on a 90-day timetable to finalize regulations for the controversial oil and gas extraction technique. Meanwhile, medical experts hired by the state have barely begun their investigation into the health impacts associated with fracking. Yesterday’s move raises serious questions about how or whether these experts’ findings can be meaningfully incorporated into the state’s final rules.
The following is a statement from Earthjustice Managing Attorney Deborah Goldberg:
“Instead of giving experts the time to complete a study on the health impacts of fracking—as he promised—Governor Cuomo is now forcing state regulators to speed up the process to comply with a technical deadline. This botched decision by the Cuomo administration puts New York on a very dangerous course, potentially letting fracking go forward in the state under a set of regulations that won’t even take the health impacts of fracking into account.
“The public health impacts of the fracking-enabled gas drilling rush must be fully studied and understood before the State moves forward. The stakes are too high and the consequences are too serious, as our neighbors in Pennsylvania know only too well.
“The Governor was faced with a choice: He could rush to meet an arbitrary technical deadline or allow medical experts the time they need to better protect public health from fracking. He made the wrong choice.”