NY Environmental Commissioner Says No Fracking

Joseph Martens, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) commissioner, has spoken out about fracking in the state of New York. Martens plans to prohibit fracking (hydraulic fracturing) in New York. The ban comes after a five-year study done by the DEC that will be released next year.

State health commissioner, Howard Zucker, supports Martens ban. During a detailed presentation, Zucker claimed that the studies on fracking have shown harmful health effects and that there have not been enough long-term studies to show the effects of fracking over time. He concluded that he would not allow his family to drink tap water in an area where fracking had occurred, according to Syracuse.com.

Martens made his announcement at Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s year-end cabinet meeting. He said that after the report was released he would “issue legally binding findings statement prohibiting (fracking) in New York state at this time.” Martens made clear that the report released would show a variety of potential environmental effects including pollution of groundwater and the release of methane and ozone.

Gov. Cuomo said that he would defer to experts and that he expects lawsuits to be filed challenging the ban on fracking in New York. He said, “I will be bound by what these experts say because I am not in a position to second guess them with my expertise. I am not a scientist.”

Zucker’s 184-page fracking health report was released on Wednesday, December 17, 2014. The study has been in the works since 2008.

“The overall weight of the evidence from the cumulative body of information contained in this Public Health Review demonstrates that there are significant uncertainties about the kinds of adverse health outcomes that may be associated with HVHF, the likelihood of the occurrence of adverse health outcomes, and the effectiveness of some of the mitigation measures in reducing or preventing environmental impacts which could adversely affect public health,” Zucker wrote.

“Until the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from HVHF to all New Yorkers and whether the risks can be adequately managed, DOH recommends that HVHF should not proceed in NYS.”

Gov. David Paterson imposed a moratorium on fracking in New York while the study was being conducted. City officials have asked Cuomo to continue the moratorium on fracking for the next 3 to 5 years to give scientist more time for study of the controversial drilling process.


Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. She writes about news, sustainability, green energy, food, celebrities and much more. Often she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and shedding a light on human rights violations all over the world.

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