Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York
The State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo:
My name is _________ . I write today because _______________ .
I request that you maintain New York's Marcellus Shale gas extraction moratorium until your Acting Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, completes a comprehensive Public Health Impact Study of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF).
On 9/20/12, your Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens acknowledged extreme public discontent with DEC's assessment of potential shale gas extraction health impacts and promised: "Fundamentally, I want to make sure that we have done the most thorough review possible, especially when it comes to public health concerns (emphasis added)."
That resulting DOH Review must be scrapped because it was conducted totally in secret without any public input and has completely failed to fulfill the goals Commissioner Martens specified for the proceeding:
a) address "any legitimate request for additional due diligence and study… (emphasis added);"
b) ensure that "DEC's ultimate decision on hydraulic fracturing is beyond reproach either as a matter of law or as policy (emphasis added);"
c) allow DEC to avail "ourselves of the best possible advice from the private and academic sectors (emphasis added);" and
d) "… result in the most thorough review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the nation…(emphasis added)."
In order to make sure that shale gas fracturing does not endanger public health in New York, the proposed DOH Public Health Impact Study must fulfill Commissioner Martens' mandates and require formal public participation, including: 1) written public notice of the intent/scope of the Study; 2) at least a 30-day public comment period to afford ample opportunity for public review and comment and 3) at least one public hearing to allow interested parties to testify about how the DOH Public Health Impact Study should be conducted.
The proposed DOH Public Health Impact Study also must resolve all of the fundamental shortcomings of the Revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) by documenting:
A: The broad spectrum of toxic and persistent pollutants generated by HVHF activities;
B: The environmental fate and transport mechanisms associated with the toxic and persistent pollutants generated by HVHF activities;
C: Known and potential public exposures to toxic and persistent HVHF pollutants, including: contaminant concentrations; exposure duration; an assessment of all potential public health consequences; and
D: Whether the Draft SGEIS adequately safeguards public health from HVHF toxic pollution threats.
Please note that more than 5,000 signatories to five major coalition letters request that you immediately put on-hold completion of your DOH Review of HVHF. Those signatories include Assembly and State Senate Representatives, local government officials, civic and environmental groups and concerned citizens.
With all respect, it would be irresponsible of you to permit shale gas extraction in New York based on a fatally flawed DOH Review conducted completely in secret and originally involving only 25 hours of work by three outside consultants.
Until your Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Zucker completes the comprehensive Public Health Impact Study outlined herein in fulfillment of your DEC Commissioner's own mandates, I request that you withhold adoption of a Final SGEIS and refrain from permitting any shale gas extraction in New York.
I trust that you will find my request self-explanatory, but please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to your prompt reply to my request.
Yours very truly,
cc: Honorable Joseph Martens
Honorable Howard Zucker, M.D.