© 2022 Innovation Trail

Role of external experts in fracking health study a little vague

The Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Joe Martens, offered some remarks at the NYS Business Council's annual Industry-Environment Conference that wraps up in Saratoga Springs today.

Our own Capitol Bureau Correspondent Karen DeWitt, along with Gannett's Jon Campbell spoke with the the Commissioner afterwards, angling for some more detail on the role that external experts will play in the final version of the health impact study into fracking.

Commissioner Martens said today:

"We're asking Dr Shah and his experts to say [to the DEC], have you adequately addressed the potential avenues for exposure in your *SGEIS?"

"We have been working on a final draft of the *SGEIS so we have made changes to address impacts that have been either identified or additional mitigation measures that have been suggested we review...some have been included in the final draft."

The state's Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah is conducting a review of the DEC's assessment of the health impact of fracking, but has been allowed to appoint a panel of external experts to advise him.

The DEC Commissioner said at the time of the announcement about the study that:  “I believe this action addresses any legitimate request for additional due diligence and study as well as ensuring DEC’s ultimate decision on hydraulic fracturing is beyond reproach either as a matter of law or as policy,”

*Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement