In Albany, New York, the New York State Assembly has included an independent health impact study of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in an upcoming budget proposal.
The Department of Environmental Conservation has been criticized by physicians, health organizations, and environmental groups for not disclosing the comprehensive health impact hydraulic fracturing can have.
The Assembly bill would set aside $100,000 for a study by a school of public within the state university system. The study would include research into other states’ experience with fracking, estimated costs of any health impacts to the state, insurers, and employers. Lastly, it would include a plan for monitoring health impacts.
With many concerns about health safety, the New Yorkers feel this study would be very beneficial to them. They have been wanting a formal health impact assessment that is extensive and detailed. Residents feel as if some major health issues have not been looked at during the hydraulic fracturing process.
“We have county medical societies throughout upstate and downstate that are very concerned that the health impacts have not been studied,” said Pat Clancy, the medical society’s vice president for public health and education.
The state of New York will be forced to take a look at the health impacts of fracking and take any necessary steps to make informed decisions about the drilling process.