Cortland County Not Ready For Hydro-Fracking

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Cortland County Not Ready For Hydro-Fracking


Last Edited: 2011-08-18 08:20:06    Story ID: 4151


Cortland County health officials say the county is woefully unprepared to handle the impacts of Hydro fracking.

On Tuesday night the county natural gas task force met to talk about the health issues that may arise as a result of increased natural gas drilling activities in New York.

While most of the concerns raised in connection with hydro fracking center around water, including protection of drinking water supplies and managing the waste water that is used in fracking. Local health officials say they are more concerned about impacts on air quality.

Deputy County public health director M.J Uttech says studies from other States including Texas and Colorado have shown residents are much more susceptible to changes in air quality before water becomes an issue, especially children.

Uttech says the county and the region are not equipped to conduct the air monitoring that will be required with the increased natural gas exploration.

Uttech says the county will likely have to add staff to the health department in order to respond to the wave of environmental complaints that will filed related to the gas drilling activities.

Among other health issues raised at the meeting are the expected impacts from the increased number of people that will come into the area as part of the drilling camps. Uttech says this presents a different set of problems including increased crime, new diseases, higher housing costs, and stress to the communities established way of life.

At this point the State is continuing to review the rules governing hydro fracking, the amended rules are expected out next year, when complete the state may begin issuing drilling permits.


PA Health Secretary Wants Tracking of Resident’s Health near Natural Gas Wells | InjuryBoard New York City

PA Health Secretary Wants Tracking of Resident’s Health near Natural Gas Wells | InjuryBoard New York City.

PA Health Secretary Wants Tracking of Resident’s Health near Natural Gas Wells

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Posted by Paul NapoliJune 20, 2011 11:59 PM

June 20, 2011

Pennsylvania’s top health official says the state needs to create a health registry to track illnesses caused by natural gas drilling.

In response to growing concern and public outcry about the way natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale affects the health of residents, Secretary of Health Eli Avila told Lieutenant Governor Cawley and the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission the state needs to take steps to address those concerns.

“In order to refute or verify claims that public health is being impacted by drilling in the Marcellus Shale, there must be a comprehensive and scientific approach to evaluating over time health conditions of individuals who live in close proximity to a drilling site or are occupationally exposed,” Avila told the Commission.

Avila, a doctor and attorney with experience in environmental remediation, says the Department of Health needs:

  • The power to investigate complaints by citizens, health care providers and public officials in a timely and thorough manner.
  • To routinely evaluate and assess environmental and clinical data, including the sampling of water, air, wildlife and other indicators of environmental health.
  • To educate health care providers about signs and symptoms of environmental related heath conditions and about proper testing for such illnesses, including chemical and radiation testing.
  • To have health care providers share patient testing with the Department of Health.
  • To educate the public about the chemicals used in the drilling process and any potential to cause illnesses.
  • To create a health registry to track drilling related health conditions.

“While it is critical that the Department investigates concerns, collects and assesses environmental and clinical data and educates health care providers and the general public, the most timely and important initiative that the Department can undertake is the creation of a population-based health registry,” Avila said.