State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to undertake a comprehensive review of the potential health impacts associated with hydrofracking.
Avella, who has long been an opponent of the controversial natural gas extraction method, said he wants a transparent review of the process that would be subject to public review, comment and revision.
“Hydrofracking is an extremely dangerous drilling practice and this issue is too important and its effects too deadly to not have a comprehensive and transparent health impact analysis,” the senator said.
Hydraulic fracturing is a process of removing natural gas and petroleum by drilling into rock layers.
Those who support the procedure argue that it could be a source of energy and revenue for the state. But its opponents say it could pose dangers to the state’s water supply.
In September 2012, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation announced that it would have the state’s Health Department review the health impact analysis of hydrofracking.
Avella believes there is an imminent need to review the procedure before it is allowed to be practiced in the state.
He said there have been a variety of illnesses associated with residents living near hydrofracking sites, such as loss of smell, memory problems, headaches, respiratory illness and stillbirths.
The senator wants a full review of hydrofracking to include a public release of the scope, substance and any supporting data used to complete a health impact analysis, a minimum 60-day comment period and public hearings conducted in parts of the state that could potentially be affected.