October 05, 2012

Steingraber / Nolan: No Compromise on HIA

A Position Paper for New Yorkers Against Fracking  
Posted by by Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. and Kathleen Nolan, MD, MSL at New Yorkers Against Fracking.
As Governor, Andrew Cuomo will continue to be an environmental champion by . . . making sure health and environmental risks are comprehensively studied before natural...
Summary Statement

Four years of study and thousands of pages have been devoted to the study of fracking’s impact on New York’s environment, but no such analysis has been carried out for public health. A thorough investigation of fracking’s impact on human health is desperately needed. Still unanswered are three fundamental questions: Will fracking sicken and kill more New Yorkers than it employs? Will the sick and dying have any recourse—other than fleeing their homes and jobs—to protect themselves? And how much will that morbidity and mortality cost? New Yorkers Against Fracking joins the call for a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to determine what high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing would mean for the health of New Yorkers. Designed in accord with national and international health guidelines and inclusive of public participation, a comprehensive HIA is the widely accepted standard for prospective health studies. This HIA should include quantitative and economic analyses and must be led by an independent team of expert researchers untethered to gas industry funding or state agencies led by political appointees. An expedient, ad-hoc “review” that is not carried out with transparency and public input and that does not follow the established protocols of a comprehensive HIA is unacceptable. Any public health impact identified during a course of careful study as an unresolvable problem must, by the Governor’s own standards, serve to halt the entry of fracking in New York State. 

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