Transition Derry

Tackling Peak Oil, Climate Change and Economic Breakdown

1. New York state bans fracking over health risks

Find out about the process leading
to the ban in this Democracy Now interview - 

On December 17, 2014, at a public meeting of the cabinet of New York governor Andrew Cuomo, Dr. Harold Zucker, commissioner of the state's Department of Health and author of a long-awaited report on the health risks of hydraulic fracking, summarised his position as to whether fracking should be allowed in the state as follows:
"Would I live in a community with high-volume hydraulic fracking, based on facts I have now? After looking at plethora of reports my answer is no. Until the public health read flags are answered by valid evidence, I cannot support high volume hydraulic fracking in the great state of New York."

Governor Cuomo responded: "Dr. Zucker, I found your statement especially effective. What I found most powerful in your presentation is you wouldn't let your family live in an area with high-volume fracking. If you don't believe your children should live there, your duty is to suggest no child should live there." (Quotes from Ecowatch report: Breaking: Cuomo Bans Fracking in New York State)

Since 2008, there has been a moratorium on fracking in place in New York, and the decision about whether or not to impose a ban had been put off until Dr. Zucker's study of the health risks was complete. Given Dr. Zucker's conclusion that the scientific evidence did not exist to convince him that fracking is safe, the New York Commissioner of Environmental Conservation Joseph Martens will now issue a legally binding statement prohibiting hydraulic fracturing in the state.
For more on the NY state ban, see also:

 Major findings of the New York State Department of Health report,
A Public Health Review of High Volume Fracturing for Shale Gas Development:

"Summarized below are some of the environmental impacts and health outcomes potentially associated with HVHF activities:

Air impacts that could affect respiratory health due to increased levels of particulate matter, diesel exhaust, or volatile organic chemicals.

Climate change impacts due to methane and other volatile organic chemical releases to the atmosphere.

Drinking water impacts from underground migration of methane and/or fracking chemicals associated with faulty well construction.

Surface spills potentially resulting in soil and water contamination.

Surface-water contamination resulting from inadequate wastewater treatment.

Earthquakes induced during fracturing.

Community impacts associated with boom-town economic effects such as increased vehicle traffic, road damage, noise, odor complaints, increased demand for housing and medical care, and stress."

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