EcoWatch

With the looming deadline of Nov. 29 for finalizing regulations for fracking in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that the much-delayed decision on this contentious issue will be pushed into 2013.

The health impact review of shale gas drilling by national experts is what will make it impossible to meet the deadline. The Department of Environmental Conservation has been working on an environmental impact study and last week appointed a panel of three nationally recognized public health experts to review the state’s health impact study for fracking.

When asked yesterday at a press conference at the Javits Center in New York City, Cuomo said he doesn’t have a timeline for completion of the health review and fracking regulations, but he doesn’t expect it to be finished within the next week.

“This is a big decision for the state,” Cuomo said. “It has potential economic benefits if the state goes forward with fracking, but we want to make sure it’s safe and we want to make sure the environment is protected, people are protected and that’s why we’re doing a health assessment.”

“We are glad the Governor wants to ‘do this right,’” said Sandra Steingraber, a representative from the anti-fracking coalition New Yorkers Against Fracking. “People throughout New York do not want to be poisoned by fracking. We are confident that a thorough, independent review of the health impacts of fracking will show it can’t be done safely.”

The experts chosen for the health review were John Adgate, chairman of the Environmental and Occupational Health Department at the Colorado School of Public Health; Lynn Goldman, dean of George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services; and Richard Jackson, chairman of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California Los Angeles’ Fielding School of Public Health.

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.