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Gas news at a glance

March 27, 2012

Coalition launches campaign to ban hydro-fracking in NY

Joining forces in a coordinated campaign announced in Albany, NY earlier this week, dozens of grassroots environmental groups announced their intention to see natural gas development using hydraulic fracturing banned in New York State. As the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) completes its 4-year review, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has predicted that a decision regarding hydro-fracking is likely in the near future. The coalition, New Yorkers Against Fracking, will receive support from biologist and author, Sandra Steingraber, who recently won the Heinz Award for her work on the impacts of chemical contaminants in air, water and food on human health. Steingraber plans to donate much of her $100,000 prize to start the coalition, beginning with targeted advertising which was set to air on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report this week.

Health impact study eliminated from NY state budget

One of the items dropped during New York state budget negotiations is a comprehensive health study proposed by the New York State Assembly to explore the impacts of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas on human health. While the NY Department of Environmental Conservation claims to have considered such impacts in drafting its regulations of hydrofracking, heavy criticism has been directed at the agency for not including a comprehensive health impact study during its review. Criticism was also leveled by a newly formed coalition of environmental groups (see above) at Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos for blocking the $100,000 Assembly appropriation for the health study.

Citizen Stream Monitoring Workshop set in Narrowsburg, NY