Researchers and medical professionals from around the state gathered in Albany to urge acting Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to impose a three- to five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York state.
Yuri Gorby, a researcher at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, says the medical community is only just beginning to understand the health impact of hydrofracking, and the moratorium would give New York a chance to make a fully informed decision.
“This window of opportunity, this three-year precautionary period, will not only allow us to provide more information about the scientific implications for releasing these contaminates into the environment, but we will see the full spectrum of health implications develop in these populations,” Gorby said.
A native of West Virginia, where fracking is legal, Gorby says he witnessed health impacts like persistent hacking cough, nosebleeds, memory loss and certain types of cancer. He says the emerging peer-reviewed studies are pointing to irreparable harm to community and natural resources.
The current state moratorium on hydrofracking expires on May 15, 2015.