Dear Governor Cuomo,
I am a voter who lives in Vestal on the PA border. I am very concerned about the public health impacts of gas drilling, infrastructure, usage, and waste disposal.
Dr. Shah is currently conducting a review of the DEC’s work for the SGEIS, but that is not adequate for the immensely complicated issue at hand, especially with so much scientific research ongoing.
Please halt the fatally flawed health review and SGEIS process and initiate a Public Health Impact Assessment, conducted with transparency and public input according to national/international standards.
Please include in that a study of impacts that are already occurring in New York, such as air pollution from PA operations, waste dumping/disposal in NY, road spreading of wastewater, and impacts on ground and surface water, especially regarding hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and endocrine disruptors, which have been found in numerous studies to be elevated near drilling and waste processing activities.
The Southern Tier is making progress through our Regional Economic Development Council and other initiatives, but we need to be seen as an area that is a healthy place to live. The threat of drilling occurring under the current flawed SGEIS process is very real to us and a high priority in deciding for whom to vote. I want to remain in the area for decades to come, but will leave the state if I or my family’s health is jeopardized by proximity to gas drilling, processing, and transport activities.
I know that you are committed to following the science on this issue. I have researched and read extensively about it and know that the science is increasingly documenting many negative health and environmental impacts. The only reasonable, scientifically valid choice is to permanently ban all aspects of unconventional fossil fuel processes, including waste disposal, from the state.
I would appreciate hearing from you regarding your thoughts on this issue which is vital to so many NYers, both the voting public and those who are still too young to vote.