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Indiana struggles to reverse its high early death rate, a Texas sheriff recommends criminal charges in DeSantis' migrant flights to Martha's Vineyard, and Congress is urged to take swift action to pass the Rail Safety Act of 2023.

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Former Vice President Mike Pence files to run for President, FBI Director Chris Wray is the subject of new hearings, and a Muslim rights group is suing a Michigan sheriff for discriminatory policies.

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Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

State Review Findings Back Up NY Fracking Ban

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Friday, May 15, 2015   

ALBANY, N.Y. - A new report backs up Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to ban fracking and details a wide range of environmental dangers.

Earthjustice managing attorney Deborah Goldberg said the Department of Environmental Conservation report spells out a long list of potential dangers from fracking operations which involve blasting millions of gallons of water mixed with hazardous chemicals into the ground.

"It does mention earthquakes, risks to water quality, air quality, risks to our communities," she said. "There really isn't any environmental parameter that is not severely affected by fracking."

Industry officials maintain that the process is safe, and may file suit if the report is accepted.

This report is not the final word, Goldberg said, adding that the DEC commissioner still needs to issue findings and make a final determination.

Goldberg credited the Cuomo administration with taking the right course because it puts the burden on the industry to prove the process is safe before allowing any natural-gas fracturing in New York.

"I think we are completely on the leading edge," she said. "Gov. Cuomo is the only governor in a state that has proven gas reserves to follow the science and recognize that we just don't know enough to go forward safely."

While the Marcellus Shale is estimated to have more than 140 trillion feet of natural gas in reserve, experts can't say for sure how much gas is contained within the New York state boundaries. Given that uncertainty and the safety issues, Goldberg said, she is not certain the industry will see any real gain in challenging the report.


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