Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Robert Sweeney today announced passage of legislation that would require a comprehensive health impact assessment of the effects of high volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State.
"Understanding the potential public health impact of hydraulic fracturing remains a priority for many. This measure would help ensure that the effects of these activities are fully examined and broadly known," said Silver.
The measure (A.10234/Sweeney) would require a school of public health within the State University of New York to conduct a comprehensive health impact assessment of the effects of high volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State. The assessment would include, among other things, an examination of the estimated costs of any health impacts. It would also identify and assess potential community-level impacts. The bill provides for a public comment period on the draft health impact assessment and requires the New York State Department of Health to make the assessment publicly available.
"There is the potential for causing significant harm if we don't first examine hydrofracking's impact on human health," said Sweeney. "The State of New York must carefully consider the facts, review the best available science, and learn from other states' mistakes. This study provides the vehicle to do just that."