As previously noted, the vaunted “health impact study” sounded like some last minute tack-on to make the SGEIS easier to defend in court – so that they can claim the DEC looked into the “health impacts of fracking.” Not unlike the “socioeconomic study” tacked onto the last version of the SGEIS. Sure enough, that’s what it is . . .to be stapled on in haste as an addendum to the SGEIS – after the fracking regulations themselves have been issued. Tricky, eh ? When the regulations are all that most people have to protect them from the health hazards of fracking – unless they get a carve-out in the SGEIS or ban fracking in their town.
Following the November 27 launch of the Concerned Health Professionals of NY initiative, the group of medical experts released an eight-minutevideo appeal to the three independent health experts contracted by the Department of Health to review the DOH’s own internal health review of fracking. The Concerned Health Professionals of NY video summarizes a number of emerging, unresolved health concerns posed by fracking and the reasons that New York’s public health experts have insisted to Governor Cuomo that the enormously important task of assessing the impact of fracking on New Yorkers’ health requires a transparent, comprehensive Health Impact Assessment with full public participation. A hasty, secretive review is no substitute. Only when all public health and environmental concerns associated with fracking have been fully resolved should Governor Cuomo make a decision whether or not to lift the state’s current moratorium and allow fracking in New York State.
To date, no one in the public or medical community has seen the DEC’s review of health impacts, nor has the Cuomo Administration shared details regarding who or what has been involved in its development and execution. As the three independent reviewers examine the DEC’s findings about the impacts of fracking on public health, the public and the medical and scientific community are still in the dark, and no one knows what the process or opportunity for input will be. Yet one of the contracted experts, Lynn Goldman made statements to the press that she has a December 3rd, 2012 deadline to complete her work even though she had signed a contract only 10 days prior and had not yet seen the DOH’s review. And on Thursday, it was revealed that the contract of another of the three reviewers specifies a pay rate of $480 per hour with a $12,000 cap, which allows for only 25 hours of work.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me – as George II explains: