A comprehensive health study of hydraulic fracturing will be included in the New York State Assembly’s 2012-2013 budget, according to a press release from Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, D-N.Y. The Assembly has allocated $100,000 for the study in relation to high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
The study is meant to fulfill the Department of Conservation’s Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, a 1,537-page review on the environmental implications of fracking and potential regulations. At a public hearing in December, many Ithaca residents criticized the review, citing the lack of a comprehensive human health study as a serious issue.
Lifton proposed the study to Assembly leadership last week.
“This study will go a long way to answer the many questions New Yorkers have about what fracking would mean for their health if this goes forward,” Lifton said in the release. “I hope the Senate will follow the Assembly’s leadership on this critical issue.”
The study proposal includes research into other states’ experiences with fracking and an analysis of the toxicity of the chemicals used in the process. Hydraulic fracturing is a form of natural gas extraction that pumps millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals into the ground.
Lifton said the health of the state’s constituents warrants such a study.
“I know of multiple Pennsylvania residents who have had barium poisoning from drinking their water in the wake of fracking activity near their homes,” Lifton said in the press release. “We must ensure that we know fully what we could get getting into, and we must put the health of New Yorkers before industry profits.”