New York State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah cites ‘new data’ for fracking delay

Shah cites ‘new data’ for fracking delay by Scott Waldman and Dan Goldberg, December 3, 2013, Capital Pro
ALBANY —  Though state health commissioner Nirav Shah has been traveling the country studying fracking for a year, he’s still not ready to say whether it’s safe for New Yorkers. “Hydrofracking is an evolving science and just in the last few weeks we have seen new data come out from Texas and Wyoming, so I don’t want to reach any premature conclusions or recommendations, and will continue to work on the report until I am comfortable that we can provide an informed recommendation,” Shah told Capital at a public health forum in Manhattan this week. The results of the study were slated for the spring, but have repeatedly been delayed. Asked if he had any timeline for reaching a decision, Shah shook his head no.

A Norwegian energy company recently announced that it will sue the state for the long delay on a fracking decision, which has dragged on for five years. Oslo-based Norse Energy, which recently declared bankruptcy, wants to force the state health department to release the supplemental generic environmental impact statement on high-volume hydraulic fracturing that Cuomo has said will inform his decision. [Emphasis added]

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