Letter to Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Skelos, and Speaker Silver

March 16th, 2012

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
New York State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224

 

Dear Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Skelos, and Speaker Silver,

 

As you negotiate the budget, we urge you to include a Health Impact Assessment on gas exploration and production using high-volume, slick water, horizontal hydraulic fracturing in the New York State 2012-2013 budget. The New York State Assembly included such a health impact assessment in their 2012-2013 budget resolution.

The medical community across New York has become increasingly concerned about the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing. Throughout the country health impacts ranging from loss of smell, memory problems, and headaches to a number of serious respiratory illnesses and cancers have been associated with high-volume, slick water, horizontal hydraulic fracturing. In October 2011, 250 physicians and medical professionals joined together in calling for a comprehensive public health impact assessment http://www.psehealthyenergy.org/resources/view/198813. On December 10, 2011 Dr. Sandra Steingraber, Lois Gibbs and Fran Drescher echoed that call with nineteen NY-based cancer advocacy groups in a letter asking for the same assessment http://www.psehealthyenergy.org/resources/view/198831.

Experts in the federal government are also asking that more research be done on the health impacts of fracking, including Christopher Portier, the Director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. As one of the most respected researchers on health issues, Portier stated, “More research is needed for us to understand public health impacts from natural gas drilling and new gas drilling technologies.” To go forward in New York without a proper health impact assessment is therefore unacceptable. We respectfully request that an appropriation be made for this study.

Sincerely,

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Elie Ward, American Academy of Pediatrics District II, NYS
Broome County Medical Society
Medical Society of the County of Tompkins
Familycare Medical Group, Syracuse, NY
Ramon Murphy MD
Lila Kalinich MD
Judith Maidenbaum PhD
Eric London MD
David Gould MD, MBA
Kenneth Jaffe, MD
Kathleen Nolan MD, MSL
Maya Shetreat-Klein MD
Michelle Bamberger PhD
Donna Flayhan PhD
James Dalton MD
Janet Corson-Rikert MD
Beth Olearczyk MD
Richard Weiskopf, MD
Sandra Steingraber PhD
MaryBeth Carlberg MD
John Cooke MD
James C. Macmillan MD
Suzanne Anderson MD
Rhonda Peterson MD
William Klepack MD
Dr Christine Durbak
D. Barry Crittenden, MD
Amy Freeth MD
Adam Law MD
Jeff Snedeker MD
Connie A. Jastremski RN MS MBA FCCM
Michael Jastremski MD
Larysa Dyrszka MD
Paul Bermanzohn, MD
Brent White, MD