A report favoring fracking that was buried for nearly a year was given to the New York Times yesterday by a whistleblower who “did not believe it should be kept secret,” according to Danny Hakim. The eight-page analysis summarizes “previous research [done] by the state and others, and concludes that fracking can be done safely.” Specifically, the report says:
By implementing the proposed mitigation measures, the Department expects that human chemical exposures during normal [fracking] operations will be prevented or reduced below levels of significant health concern.
The report went on to say that further study of the risks would be worthless because it would “involve making a large number of assumptions about the many … variables that influence the nature and degree of potential human exposure and toxicity.”
The report puts New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (shown) in a tough spot. On one side are the landowners over the Marcellus Formation in the southwestern parts of the state who have been leasing their land to drilling companies anxious to explore the potential of the formation. On the other are the environmentalists who are concerned about the risks of such exploration and the potential impact on people and the environment.
Cuomo has delayed making a decision on whether to allow fracking for nearly four years while an environmental study was being completed. Back in September Cuomo was about to allow some limited exploring, but at the last minute, he reversed course, ordering another full-scale study of the matter, which would put off making a decision for at least another year.
This pleased Cuomo’s good friend Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an environmental activist whose sister just happens to be Cuomo’s ex-wife. Kennedy said at the time that he was delighted with Cuomo’s continued resistance to landowners and drilling companies who wanted to get started with the drilling:
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