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Green Group Reminds Cuomo of Campaign Promise on Fracking and Science

PHOTO: Environmental advocates are sending congratulations to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but also are demanding he take action to make good on a campaign promise concerning science and fracking. Credit: T. Proulx.
November 6. 2014
PHOTO: Environmental advocates are sending congratulations to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but also are demanding he take action to make good on a campaign promise concerning science and fracking. Credit: T. Proulx.

NEW YORK – One environmental group is sending congratulations to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on his re-election victory, but is also calling for action on a fracking pledge Cuomo made during the campaign.

At issue is a pending assessment of how natural gas drilling operations would impact the health of New Yorkers if fracking operations were to begin in the state.

Elizabeth Moran, water and natural resources associate with Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY), says Cuomo needs to fine-tune a recent campaign promise to ensure it is based on science.

"During the campaign, Gov. Cuomo announced the health assessment was going to be completed by the end of the year, but the governor has given us no reason to trust that this health study is going to be reliable,” she asserts. "He has meddled with a lot of other studies."

Moran says one recent example of meddling is a 2011 federal water study where, according to a published report, the Cuomo administration suggested edits to a U.S. Geological Survey report to downplay health risks associated with fracking.

The governor's office maintains that its interaction with the federal government was standard and in the interest of science.

Moran says Cuomo needs to commission a scientific health assessment that is independent and transparent from the start.

"We can't allow fracking to be rushed in the state," she stresses. "As we've seen from neighboring states, they rushed ahead to frack and they are seeing devastating environmental and health consequences. We can't allow that to happen to New Yorkers where water is a precious resource."

Moran stresses it's not just water quality New Yorkers need to be concerned about. She says a recent study by a University of Albany professor found eight toxic chemicals in the air near fracking well sites in Pennsylvania.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY