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Mixed Reactions on N.Y. Fracking Decision

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I find myself ever more curious and very jaded when it comes to the news cycle and the various slants that can come out of one single document. Take a look at the news, has anything really changed about this issue in 4 years other than confirmation of the fact that it should have been done years ago. All of the current commentary could have been written months ago and published with nothing more than a change of dates.This particular blogger is always on target never over the top one way or the other and careful to assure that her sources are accurate. Based on the snails pace at which NY is moving, I suspect she could think about possible scenarios, write and rewrite her blogs into shear perfection( and they are well done anyway) and put them in an indexed file to publish as required.

I will grant you, no landowner ever though that the current governor would be as duplicitous as he has been, as politically motivated, totally disregarding state law and landowner rights. That said, we are where we are and if you are uncomfortable, then make sure that your displeasure is known and do it frequently. Be active in your coalition, prepare for the future and do not let the delays get you down. You are in NY after all and good government and strong leadership are NOT New Yorks strong points.JLCpulse

By MIREYA NAVARRO in New York Times Green section

Reaction to Thursday’s announcement by the Cuomo administration that New York State must review potential public health effects before deciding whether to allow fracking is split along fairly predictable lines.

Gas industry officials and landowners who want to lease their properties for this kind of natural gas drilling said they were disappointed because the move means that fracking won’t start anytime soon in New York. Still, some said they were relieved that the state — and not outside experts, as environmental groups had wanted — will assess the potential for public harm.

Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, which represents around pro-fracking 77,000 property owners, said that delegating the study to others would surely have resulted in longer delays. He therefore called the move “good news.”

All the same, he said that further health studies were unnecessary. “As people who would host this activity on our land, we have investigated the practices and participated for years in recommending safeguards that will allow us to utilize our resources and protect our land, air and water,” Mr. Fitzsimmons said.

Still, the sharpened focus on health heartened many of the dozens of state legislators, medical professionals and environmental groups who had warned that the state’s environmental assessment of fracking gave short thrift to medical problems that could result from drilling-related ills like accidental water contamination and increased truck traffic.

And Joseph Martens, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, did say that the state’s health commissioner, Nirav Shah, who will be in charge of the review, could seek advice from “the most qualified outside experts,” some noted.

The environmental group Riverkeeper welcomed the news. “We are confident that Commissioner Shah’s review, if done comprehensively, objectively and with the help of truly qualified outside experts, will reveal significant omissions in D.E.C.’s analysis and show why fracking cannot be allowed to move forward in New York,” the group said in a statement.

Yet other environmentalists, noting that state officials had ignored calls for a separate health impact assessment for more than a year, continued to demand an independent study.

New Yorkers Against Fracking, a coalition of individuals and groups that want an outright ban on the controversial drilling process, said in a statement that “nothing has roused the Department of Health from its unconcerned slumber” when it relates to fracking. “And we are now to believe that this agency will do any more heavy lifting than rubberstamp the findings of the D.E.C.?” it said.

“With the health of millions of New Yorkers at risk, Governor Cuomo must demand a rigorous, comprehensive health impact assessment by an independent team of public health experts,” the group said. “That’s what New York’s universities and medical institutions are there to provide.”

The state plans to set up a surveillance system to monitor health impacts if fracking does get under way.

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