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Governor Cuomo: Please disclose how the findings and recommendations of your Dept. of Health's Public Health Review of Shale Fracking will be translated into public policy

March 14, 2015

Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that you publicly disclose how the findings and recommendations of your Department of Health's A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) For Shale Gas Development will be translated into public policy.

We further request that you address the detailed concerns presented below before adopting any Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS).

Key Public Health Review Conclusion

The Public Health Review's key conclusion is:

"Until the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from HVHF to all New Yorkers and whether the risks can be adequately managed, DOH recommends that HVHF should not proceed in New York State."

See page one at:

Request for Public Disclosure as well as Open and Transparent Decision Making Process

While we applaud your administration's landmark Public Health Review conclusion, it is unclear how it will be translated into public policy. We write today to request that you clarify this matter.

First, please make clear whether your administration plans to ban permanently all high volume hydraulic fracturing of Marcellus Shale in New York through a legally-binding prohibition or adopt some other form of shale fracking prohibition.

Second, it is our understanding that your Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will implement the Public Health Review's findings and recommendations by adopting a Final SGEIS and issuing a Findings Statement to conclude the proceeding.

Even though you stated on 12/17/14 that those actions would be "self-executing," we respectfully request that you reveal the scope of the Final SGEIS before any final action is taken on the matter.

The original purpose of the SGEIS was to provide permit guidelines for shale gas extraction. That is implicit in the SGEIS title: "Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in the Marcellus Shale and Other Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs."

We are concerned that a Final SGEIS might permit HVHF in the future without any further public review or comment and despite the prohibition recommended in the Public Health Review.

We also believe it would be premature to adopt HVHF permit guidelines before resolving the shortcomings documented in the Public Health Review and otherwise brought to your attention.

Given these concerns, we respectfully request that you: a) immediately provide written public notice regarding the scope of the proposed Final SGEIS proceeding, b) hold public hearings about the proceeding and c) accept public comments to resolve questions about this critical matter openly, transparently and with full formal public participation before adopting a Final SGEIS.

Please Address Fundamental Shortcomings Documented in the Public Health Review

The Public Health Review states: "Based on this review, it is apparent that the science surrounding HVHF activity is limited, only just beginning to emerge, and largely suggests only hypotheses about potential public health impacts that need further evaluation (emphasis added)."

The Public Health Review also notes: "many of the published reports investigating both environmental impacts that could result in human exposures and health implications of HVHF activities are preliminary or exploratory in nature (emphasis added)."

The Public Health Review cautions: "Furthermore, the public health impacts from HVHF activities could be significantly broader than just those geographic locations where the activity actually occurs, thus expanding the potential risk to a large population of New Yorkers (emphasis added)."

See pages one and two at:

Please Address "Significant Uncertainties" Documented in the Public Health Review

We also respectfully request that you disclose how DEC and DOH propose to address the "significant uncertainties" referenced in the Public Health Review regarding:

"the kinds of adverse health outcomes that may be associated with HVHF,"

"the likelihood of the occurrence of adverse health outcomes," and

"the effectiveness of some of the mitigation measures in reducing or preventing environmental impacts which could adversely affect public health."

See page two at:

Please Address the Most Important Decision Specified by the Public Health Review

We request that you disclose how New York State will decide when:

"the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from HVHF to all New Yorkers and whether the risks can be adequately managed..."

All these Public Health Review procedural matters are critical to determining if HVHF will ever be allowed to proceed in New York. That is why it is imperative that you address these matters without delay.

Draft SGEIS Shortcomings Also Must Be Resolved Before Final SGEIS is Adopted

Tens of thousands of concerned citizens, legislators, academic researchers, business owners, religious leaders and health professionals have respectfully written you to document grave concerns about the Final Revised Draft SGEIS' numerous technical shortcomings as well as that it is indisputably outdated and lacks current information.



We trust that you will find our requests self-explanatory, but please do not hesitate to contact us if we can clarify our concerns. We look forward to receiving your prompt reply.

In conclusion, we wish to thank you, Commissioners Joe Martens and Dr. Howard Zucker, as well as all your DEC and DOH colleagues for their dedicated work performed under challenging circumstances to safeguard the public health of "all New Yorkers" as well as the environment of our state from shale fracking hazards. We commend your public service.

Always very respectfully,

Total Signatory Count: 1228

Christopher Origer
26 Chadwick Rd
Binghamton, NY
sarah vanouwerkerk
132 crosby st
new york, ny
Anne Haas
1957 County Road e
Oliveridge, NY
Linda Griggs
147 Mosley Drive, Apt 2
Syracuse, New York
Elizabeth Mosley
533 Columbus Ave.
Syracuse, New York
Freida Jacques
RR#51 Box 312
Nedrow, New York
Tim P
51 Pioneer St
Cooperstown, NY
Phyllis Hoenig
191 Bullet Hole Rd
Mahopac, NY
Marie Vitucci
191 seven mile dr
Ithaca, Ny
Arthur Rifkin
7 Fourth Rd
Great Neck, NY
James Hodges
117 Rachel Carson Way
Ithaca, New York
Daniel Sternglass
President and CEO, Feather Labs, Inc.
403 Highgate Road
Ithaca, NY
Martha and Gurdon Brewster
PAUSE people advocating the use of sustainable energy
376 Shaffer Road
Newfield , NY
Kathe Sandstrom
Membership Chair
Mid-Hudson Sierra Club
48 S Manheim
New Paltz, NY
Robert Yates
PO Box 24
McDonough, NY
Debbie Wells
615 Lisle Rd
Owego, NY
Laurene Gilbert
656 Five Mile Dr
Ithaca, NY
Dawn Jordan
Voorheesville, NY
Cathy McNulty
N.E. Organic Farming Association, Sustainable Sidney, Stop the Constitution Pipeline.
464 Vandervort Hill Rd
Unadilla, NY
Donna Whitbread
24, Avondale road,
Pitsea, Essex
Seala Mardin
, VT
Patricia Kahn
766 Roosa Gap Road
Bloomingburg, NY
Jean Schmidlein
46 Skylark Rd
Bloomingburg, NY
Elizabeth Bucar
Member, Steering Committee
Damascus Citizens for Sustainability
18 Mill Street
Callicoon, NY
andrew weil
po box 37
summitville, ny
Cheryl Deering
32 Leming St
dunkirk, ny
William Mason
Sanctuary Woods
206 Miller Road
Mount Vision, New York
jo ann myers
frack free catskills, sovereign peoples action network
75 brewster
kingston, ny