Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

January 3, 2013

Report: Gas drilling safe under proposed rules

LBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An unreleased state report says potential health impacts from fracking are addressed in the Department of Environmental Conservation's regulatory plan, making a separate health impact study unnecessary.

The report, first obtained by the New York Times, references sections of the draft environmental review that deal with health impacts from shale gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The report concludes that adverse health impacts will be prevented if DEC's guidelines are followed.

A DEC spokeswoman says the report is nearly a year old and outdated.

Three outside experts are reviewing DEC's health impact assessment but the materials they are reviewing haven't been made public. Environmental groups have criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration for conducting the health review in secret.

Cuomo has said he'll lift a ban on fracking if it can be done safely.

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