Thursday, December 18, 2014

No Fracking Way - New York to ban fracking based on adverse health data (lawsuits likely to follow)

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will issue a legally binding findings statement to prohibit High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) in the State of New York.

New York's move should motivate the Erin Brokoviches of this world to start their lawsuits against companies involved in fracking based on the plethora of adverse health data exposed.

This DEC's statement comes on the heels of the Acting Department of Health Commissioner recommending that fracking should not move forward in the State.

According to the Commissioner "I have considered all of the data and find significant questions and risks to public health which as of yet are unanswered,". The review by the Department of Health, entitled "A Public Health Review of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing for Shale Gas Development", is the basis for the DEC's decision to ban fracking.

The review states, in pertinent part, that "there are significant uncertainties about the kinds of adverse health outcomes that may be associated with HVHF, the likelihood of the occurrence of adverse health outcomes, and the effectiveness of some of the mitigation measures in reducing or preventing environmental impacts which could adversely affect public health."

The review summarizes "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."

Today is a bad day to own a fracking company. Yet, so many lives will be bettered as a result of this new rule.