New York State Medical Societies Call for Moratorium
It’s now official: the Medical Society of the State of New York has gone on record supporting a moratorium on gas drilling using high volume hydraulic fracturing.
Numerous county medical societies began supporting a moratorium. Most were content with waiting for the EPA to issue its findings before proceeding further even though it was unclear how wide a scope the study would cover or even if they would produce valid, reliable information to begin with. The thought was to wait, let the EPA prove itself and then reevaluate when the time came. Few thought the medical profession would be willing to leave a moratorium so open ended. Yet that is what was eventually passed at the state level: a call for a true moratorium until “valid information” is available. Given the fact that the process is only now coming under scrutiny of not only the state and federal government (where it should have been done in the first place), but academia, and now the medical community we might now begin to hope that the issue will get the attention and study it deserves. We might dare hope that the precautionary principle lives.
Here is the wording of the resolution passed by MSSNY:
RESOLVED, That the Medical Society of the State of New York supports a moratorium on natural gas extraction using high volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State until valid information is available to evaluate the process for its potential effects on human health and the environment.
Counties that passed their own calls for a moratorium are (might be incomplete):
Broome County Medical Society
Herkimer County Medical Society
Cayuga County Medical Society
Chemung County Medical Society
Chenango County Medical Society
Madison County Medical Society
Oneida County Medical Society
Onondaga County Medical Society
Oswego County Medical Society
Otsego County Medical Society
Tompkins County Medical Society
……literally all the southern tier
Delaware and Tioga Counties do not have separate Societies but fall under what is called the sixth District which also declared support for a moratorium.
Chris W. Burger
110 Walters Road
Whitney Point, NY 13862
See for more information regarding medical professionals
The model Resolution used with some variations:
Whereas, as physicians we believe in the principle of Primum, non, nocere, First, do no harm; and
Whereas, as physicians of [ ] County, we care first and foremost about the health of our community and believe that when an activity raises potential harm to human health, precautionary measures should be taken until cause and effect relationships are fully established scientifically, and
Whereas, the exploitation of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale Gas Field involves high-pressure injection of billions of gallons of water and millions of gallons of water-soluble chemicals into the shale formations to allow the release of natural gas, and
Whereas, backflow from this process contains heavy metals, radioactive materials and volatile organic compounds, and the effects of this process on human health have not been subject to rigorous medical research, and
Whereas, the review reported by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement contains no high quality medical data, now therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the [ ] County Medical Society supports a moratorium to natural gas extraction using high volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State until completion of the recently announced Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study to evaluate its effects on human health and the environment, and be it further
RESOLVED, that this resolution be sent to the appropriate state elected representatives, local media and other interested parties.