Unbiased review needed before fracking begins

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly stated that fracking decisions will be based upon scientific review of fracking. Yet without complete review of the environmental impact study and without input about health issues, he has accepted the recently submitted fracking guidelines from the Department of Environmental Conservation for consideration.

This makes absolutely no sense. How can you put together a sound package of regulatory recommendations without the facts being available? Studies that look at health, environment and safety require time, expertise and patience. Effects are not instantaneously felt or apparent. Change must be gathered over time, compared with known data, assessed for variables and then interpreted without bias. The time allocated for the health review is an insult to the residents of New York.

I want to live in New York, but I don’t want to live in a state that disregards the health and safety of its residents or its natural environment. The arbitrary numbers in the proposed regulation are just that, arbitrary. There is no scientific data to support distances and amounts in the proposed regulations. Keeping wells 500 feet from a water supply; where did that number come from? What scientific undertaking has supported 500 feet rather than 200 or 1,000 feet? The proposed regulations are filled with these arbitrary recommendations. New Yorkers know that fracking will change forever the face of the state. The beauty, the Great Lakes water, the agricultural industry, dairy, recreation and the health of residents are all on the fracking sacrificial table. The gas and oil companies will make money, so will some selected land owners, so will campaign funds.

There is no legitimate reason to rush this decision, unless the data that are just now coming to light from states that have been fracking for several years are so damning or questionable that it’s a race to the finish line.

Paula Calleri