Following through on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s promise, the Acting New York State Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, released the findings of his department’s long delayed health study of hydraulic fracturing in New York State. According to Dr. Zucker, hydraulic fracturing poses serious concerns to public health and data that proves otherwise does not exist. As a result, and as others have noted, Dr. Zucker concluded that he “cannot support high volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York.”
Based on the DOH’s conclusion, research, and comments, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Commissioner Joseph Martens said that his staff will complete the related State Environmental Quality Review Act process early next year. When that process concludes, he said that NYSDEC will issue a “legally binding findings statement” that prohibits hydraulic fracturing in New York State. Thus, the Cuomo administration has effectively banned high volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State, at least for the foreseeable future.