Donald L Hassig, Cancer Action Network, draft SGEIS comment

Deputy Commissioner Leff takes the position that the best way to proceed with HVHF in New York State is to make a firm commitment to minimizing all exposures to harmful chemical substances released into
the environment by shale gas exploitation.  I argued that considering the history of shale gas exploitation throughout the United States and the limited ability of the DEC to enforce laws and regulations already in existence it would not be possible for DEC to act in a sufficiently substantial manner upon any commitment to minimization of exposures. There are many pollutant carcinogen exposures associated with shale
gas exploitation that have not been addressed in those areas where this activity exists, including:  (1) benzene, formaldehyde, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and soot particulates emissions of diesel trucks and compressors; (2) chemical carcinogens present in fracturing fluid and disposed of so as to contaminate surface and ground waters; (3) chemical carcinogens evaporating into the outdoor atmosphere from holding tanks utilized at gas well sites; (4) chemical carcinogens evaporating from HVHF waste water and entering the outdoor atmosphere; and (5) radioactive nuclides brought to the surface of the Earth in HVHF waste water.

Shale gas exploitation is not currently possible without imposing a relatively large quantity of exposure to pollutant carcinogens upon New York State residents.  At a time when cancer incidence is already far above an acceptable level as a result of exposures to pollutant carcinogens released into the environment by past and current polluting activities, shale gas exploitation is not acceptable.  Our organization advocates for a ban on shale gas exploitation throughout the United States.

Please utilize the powers of the DEC to set about insuring that the public is provided with a scientific knowledge based portrayal of shale gas exploitation impacts on health.  Will the DEC work in concert with the New York State Department of Health to produce a Health Impact Assessment for shale gas exploitation?  Provision of such a document to the residents of New York State will build political support for the banning of shale gas exploitation in our state.  Knowledge must be used to protect public health.  We find ourselves living in a time of pollutant carcinogen exposure cancer epidemic.  This is the time for minimizing exposure to all pollutant carcinogens.  Please assist with the effort to reject shale gas exploitation in New York State.

Donald L. Hassig, Director
Cancer Action NY
Cancer Action News Network
P O Box 340
Colton, NY USA 13625