March 27, 2012

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State budget excludes fracking health impact assessment study funding

YOUNGSVILLE – The final draft of the state budget that was to include a Health Impact Assessment Study on fracking lacks that component and the Catskill Mountainkeeper group is concerned.

Mountainkeeper Program Director Wes Gillingham said that study should be included and in the end, if it is not when the budget is adopted in Albany, groups like theirs may file an Article 78 proceeding in court.

“This specific action is part of SEQR; they are supposed to be looking at cumulative and health would fit under the category of cumulative impacts and there are a whole series of issues that are still going unanswered the Article 78s are sitting out there waiting to happen,” he said. “This is just a blatant example of politics above the health and safety of New Yorkers.”

Gillingham said the initial budget proposal had $100,000 allocated for the study.

The removal of the study is“particularly egregious in light of the medical evidence that is coming out warning about the dangers of fracking,” he said.


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