– Statement Re: DOH Refusal To Share Details On Fracking Health Study

November 16, 2012

For Immediate Release: Nov 16, 2012
Travis Proulx, [email protected] , 518-462-5526 x238

Statement Re: DOH Refusal To Share Details On Fracking Health Study

Yesterday, nearly two months after the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced it had completed a study on the public health impacts of fracking and were referring it to the Department of Health (DOH) for review, the Cuomo administration named the three individuals designated to complete that assessment. However, the administration continues to block the public from engaging in this critically important process.

The following is attributable to Katherine Nadeau, Water & Natural Resources Program Director, Environmental Advocates NY:

“While it is welcome news that three highly regarded professionals have agreed to review the DEC’s study on the public health impacts of fracking, the administration’s intentionally obtuse approach to this entire process is unacceptable.

In September, Environmental Advocates NY asked the DEC, DOH, and Governor’s office to share the already-completed study and related information in a Freedom of Information request. DOH has since responded that it is conducting a ‘diligent search’ to fill our request for the apparently already-reviewed study, and will apparently need until January 25, 2013, to locate and possibly share it with the public.

As a result, no one knows who completed the DEC’s study, what factors the DOH has considered in its initial review, and whether these three experts will truly have the independence and autonomy they need and deserve to do the job right.

From a Governor who promised transparency, this is anything but.

We maintain that a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment—an established process for studying the health impacts of an action, including public and stakeholder input, and identifying ways to protect the public—should be conducted. If the administration continues to object to a comprehensive assessment, they should at least ensure transparency and independence within the process they have begun.”