Broome medical agency asks Vestal to support health study on fracking

Broome medical agency asks Vestal to support health study on fracking by David Robinson, August 22, 2012, Star Gazette
VESTAL — Broome County Medical Society officers on Monday asked Vestal town officials and residents to support an effort to seek funding for a health impact study on hydraulic fracturing. Dr. Niru Anne, a Vestal resident and vice president of BCMS, addressed town board members along with other area doctors. Anne told board members that decisions on whether to permit the natural gas drilling technique should be delayed until more health impact data is collected. As an oncologist for Lourdes, she has concerns about the effects of chemicals used in the drilling process…. “It’s really the unknown; we just don’t know what they do,” she said of the chemicals involved in the process, typically referred to as fracking. … BCMS is among several groups that have called on the state to fund a health impact study. … Bob Poloncic, a member of the pro-drilling group Vestal Gas Coalition, said during the meeting that other states where fracking currently exists have yet to find any negative health effects. Poloncic and his wife own 100 acres of land in Vestal they hope to lease for natural gas drilling. He suggested that the environmental impact study is sufficient to determine whether to permit hydraulic fracturing. Anne countered during the meeting that the environmental impact study is missing an independent health impact assessment, which she believes is necessary to determine whether it’s safe. “We’re talking about things where we don’t know what the side effects are: how can you be OK with that?” she said.

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