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Health impact assessments thin on the ground


Good Morning and welcome to the Morning Trail Mix for Friday.

Cuomo is upstate today campaigning for Democrat candidates, and then likely in Florida on the weekend pressing the flesh for President Obama's campaign.

Energy and Health

This video is really worth watching. Dr. Aaron Wernham is Project Director for the Health Impact Project at Pew Charitable Trusts. The link will take you through to a presentation that Dr. Wernham gave to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The conference (held at the end of April) centered on "the health impacts of emerging energy technologies and the use of health impact assessments to assess and identify ways to mitigate potential health impacts". 

What Dr Wernham points out is that health impact assessments - like the information that the state's Health Commissioner Dr. Nariv Shah is reviewing now in the DEC's dSGEIS on fracking regulations - are relatively new. 

HIA capture.JPG
Credit http://www.healthimpactproject.org/hia/us
Health Impact Assessments completed for Natural Resources and Energy in the USA

This screenshot shows you all of the HIA's in the USA that have been carried out for the Natural Resource and Energy sector, but the yellow dot in Colorado represents the only HIA that's been conducted into a project involving natural gas extraction . This study of a place called the Battlement Mesa, by the Colorado School of Public Health and two other groups, is considered the only real benchmark for HIA's where natural gas extraction is involved.

Dr Wernham also points out that the International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank Group) set out benchmarks for HIAs as part of its conditions for investing in development projects.

You'll recall that public health academics have made a number of calls to the Cuomo administration for a full Health Impact Assessment to be done on fracking in the state. Wernham describes some of the heavy lifting that would be involved in doing that.

Meanwhile the energy industry has been spending some of its marketing budget and the New York State Petroleum Council will be running this ad in the Southern Tier region from now until early November reports Jon Campbell in his Politics on the Hudson blog.


What you might have missed from yesterday:

Niagara University will host a new Procurement Technical Assistance Center.

Residents of Jefferson County in the north country came out in droves to a rowdy meeting in Cape Vincent with most of them telling BP Wind Energy they didn't want the project.

Capitol Bureau correspondent Karen DeWitt runs the scenarios for  the New York State Senate after November 6th. (WXXI News

Cornell students put IBM's Watson to the test. (WXXI news)

What do you do with a century-old bridge dividing two cities? Marie Cusick has this report.

Matt Richmond backgrounds the petition by 17 environmental groups against the EPA to have the oil and gas extraction industries data added the TRI. Here's the link to find out what that all means.