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The Department of Environmental Conservation released new proposed hydraulic fracturing regulations today. The public comment period starts on Dec. 12 but reactions to them have already started to pour in. The DEC has said it won't take any final action until DEC Commissioner Niravh Shah completes his planned health review of fracking but advocates aren't happy that these proposed regulations have been released before the health study has been completed.
The New York Water Rangers issued this statement:
"The Cuomo administration's decision to propose revised fracking regulations undermines the governor's oft-stated promise to let the science drive his decision-making process.
By issuing revised rules before the Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health (DOH), and their outside experts, have had the chance to undertake a comprehensive review of fracking's consequences, the governor and his staff are signaling that it is not important to understand the public health impacts from fracking. But this knowledge is critical, and must be used to shape regulations and ultimately determine whether or not to permit fracking in New York State.
Millions of New Yorkers who could bear the burden of unknown consequences have been left in the dark.
The state's health commissioner has been asked to review the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing in New York before Gov. Andrew Cuomo makes a decision on whether to allow the natural gas drilling practice. The head of the state's Department of Environmental Conservation decided to ask the state's health commissioner, instead of having a university school of public health or independent group make an asssessment. Environmentalists said they would have preferred an independent review.
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Environmental Advocates of New York have hired veteran spokesman Travis Proulx to be their new director of communications. Proulx served as a spokesman for the Senate Democrats through the good times and the bad. He even survived the fabled 2009 Senate Coup. He recently worked for the Cuomo administration. â€śTravis is a great addition to our office. His years of experience in the capital, working in both the legislative and executive branches, as well as his knowledge of state government, political campaigns, and statewide media, are huge assets to our organization and the stateâ€™s broader environmental community,â€ť said Rob Moore, executive director of Environmental Advocates. Proulx said, â€śEnvironmental Advocates has a well-deserved reputation for not only advancing environmental protections, but also advocating visionary policies that benefit all New Yorkers. Iâ€™m excited to join the team at such an important time for our state's environment, with big decisions looming on issues such as fracking.â€ť You can expect to hear Proulx talking about hydraulic fracturing along with a bevy of other environmental issues facing New York in the months and years to come.