NY health commissioner: longer gas-drilling study needed - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

NY health commissioner: longer gas-drilling study needed

Posted: Updated:
This diagram shows the hydraulic fracturing water cycle. (EPA) This diagram shows the hydraulic fracturing water cycle. (EPA)

By MARY ESCH | AP

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Long-awaited regulations for shale gas drilling in New York state will be delayed further, because the state's health commissioner said Tuesday his office needs more time to study the possible health impacts.

The Department of Environmental Conservation had faced a deadline Wednesday to complete its 4 1/2-year-old environmental impact study of drilling for gas using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said Tuesday that the deadline will be missed, meaning regulations due to be released Feb. 27 will be delayed. Martens said he expected Health Commissioner Nirav Shah's review to be done in a few weeks.

But Martens said issuing of permits for shale gas drilling could begin even while regulations are being finished, if the Health Department's review finds the Environmental Conservation Department's impact study adequately addresses health concerns.

But if the Department of Health review "finds that there is a public health concern that has not been assessed in the (environmental impact study) or properly mitigated, we would not proceed, as I have stated in the past," Martens said.

Shah said he needed more time to review recent studies. He said his review focuses in particular on the relationship of fracking to the health impacts of drinking water, as well as other areas such as air quality and community impacts.

Environmental groups that have been pushing for a more extensive review of health impacts were happy about Shah's announcement, while landowners eager to reap profits from gas wells were dismayed.

"Commissioner Shah is correct that the state needs to take the time to do a comprehensive study of the health effects of fracking to protect the public health," said biologist Sandra Steingraber, a leader of the anti-fracking movement. "We are confident that such a review will show that the costs of fracking in terms of public health are unacceptable."

A coalition of landowners is considering a lawsuit over the state's repeated delays in completing regulations and issuing drilling permits.

"We're incredibly disappointed that our state could not get this done," said Scott Kurkoski, a lawyer representing a large coalition of landowners in the southern part of New York near the Pennsylvania border where gas drilling is most likely to start. "We've been at this for 4 1/2 years. Ohio was able to accomplish their revision to regulations in eight months."

Kurkoski said the landowners were still hopeful that they could see permits issued within the next few weeks.

Shah noted several studies that have been initiated or published by the scientific community: an EPA study on potential impacts of fracking activities on drinking water, due to be completed in 2014; a Geisinger Health Systems study in Pennsylvania, which is analyzing health records in areas where shale gas is being developed; and a study recently announced by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in collaboration with scientists from Columbia, Johns Hopkins and the University of North Carolina.

"As we have been reviewing the scope of these studies, I have determined — and prudence dictates — that the DOH Public Health Review will require additional time to complete based on the complexity of the issues," Shah said.

He said he and his team will be in Pennsylvania and Washington in coming days for briefings on the studies. He said he has also extended the terms of outside researchers assisting in his review.
   
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

  • HealthMore>>

  • Michigan man among 1st in US to get 'bionic eye'

    Michigan man among 1st in US to get 'bionic eye'

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:44 AM EDT2014-04-23 11:44:31 GMT
    A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision.  Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a teenager, Pontz has been almost completely blind for years. Now, thanks to a high-tech procedure that involved the surgical implantation of a "bionic eye," he's regained enough of his eyesight to catch small glimpses of his wife, grandson and cat.
    A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision.  Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a teenager, Pontz has been almost completely blind for years. Now, thanks to a high-tech procedure that involved the surgical implantation of a "bionic eye," he's regained enough of his eyesight to catch small glimpses of his wife, grandson and cat.
  • Concern that deadly synthetic drug N-Bomb could hit East Coast

    Concern that deadly synthetic drug N-Bomb could hit East Coast

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:32:49 GMT
    A drug called the N-Bomb, 25-Eye or Smiles is one of the top five most prevalent drugs facing youth today, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.Right now this synthetic mix is mostly on the West Coast, but addiction specialists in our area are anticipating it will be here soon.N-Bomb is a hallucinogen likened to a dangerous combination of MDMA and LSD. It is administered through a nasal spray, a liquid, and a powder, said Pamela Capaci, the executive director of Prevention Links,...
    A drug called the N-Bomb, 25-Eye or Smiles is one of the top five most prevalent drugs facing youth today, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.Right now this synthetic mix is mostly on the West Coast, but addiction specialists in our area are anticipating it will be here soon.N-Bomb is a hallucinogen likened to a dangerous combination of MDMA and LSD. It is administered through a nasal spray, a liquid, and a powder, said Pamela Capaci, the executive director of Prevention Links,...
  • The Cliffs at LIC

    New gym in Queens features massive climbing walls

    New gym in Queens features massive climbing walls

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:27 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:27:54 GMT
    The Cliffs at Long Island City is a new gym in Queens with a focus on rock climbing. You'll find rope climbing (or top climbing) over 50 feet high, boldering (which is done on shorter walls un-roped over gymnastic pads), traditional rappelling, and even Aussie-style rappelling (going down the wall face first), and a fitness center, according to owner Mike Woffert, an expert climber.
    The Cliffs at Long Island City is a new gym in Queens with a focus on rock climbing. You'll find rope climbing (or top climbing) over 50 feet high, boldering (which is done on shorter walls un-roped over gymnastic pads), traditional rappelling, and even Aussie-style rappelling (going down the wall face first), and a fitness center, according to owner Mike Woffert, an expert climber.
  • New York State NewsNew York State NewsMore>>

  • Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Caesars enters New York casino competition

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 10:52 PM EDT2014-04-23 02:52:22 GMT
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
    Caesars Entertainment entered the competition to open a casino in upstate New York on Tuesday with a proposal to build a $750 million complex 50 miles north of New York City. The complex would include a casino, a hotel and a meeting space and would be located in Woodbury, in Orange County. The Las Vegas-based Caesars, which operates 52 casinos around the world, has submitted a $1 million casino license application fee to state gambling regulators.
  • Lawsuit: ex-Buffalo Bills cheerleaders were exploited, groped

    Lawsuit: ex-Buffalo Bills cheerleaders were exploited, groped

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-23 00:08:06 GMT
    Buffalo Bills / NFLBuffalo Bills / NFL
    Five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders on Tuesday sued the team over a pay system they say had them working hundreds of hours for free at games and at mandatory public appearances at which they were subjected to groping and sexual comments, and one said they had to take a jiggle test so their boss could see how firm their bodies were. The state Supreme Court lawsuit is the third filed this year against a National Football League team by cheerleader...
    Five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders on Tuesday sued the team over a pay system they say had them working hundreds of hours for free at games and at mandatory public appearances at which they were subjected to groping and sexual comments, and one said they had to take a jiggle test so their boss could see how firm their bodies were. The state Supreme Court lawsuit is the third filed this year against a National Football League team by cheerleader...
  • Airbnb fights NY attorney general's subpoena

    Airbnb fights NY attorney general's subpoena

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:06:24 GMT
    Renting out someone's apartment is an easy way to get an inexpensive place to stay if you're a tourist, and cheaper and more convenient than most hotels. But now the government is stepping in and trying to get a handle on a booming business that may not be playing by the rules. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is squaring off in court with multi-million dollar Internet company Airbnb.
    Renting out someone's apartment is an easy way to get an inexpensive place to stay if you're a tourist, and cheaper and more convenient than most hotels. But now the government is stepping in and trying to get a handle on a booming business that may not be playing by the rules. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is squaring off in court with multi-million dollar Internet company Airbnb.
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices