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Health department: More funding needed to address hydrofracking
|An internal report from the state Department of Health says that if high-volume hydrofracking moves forward in New York, the agency will need additional funding to address potential health impacts and assist with regulating the industry.|
According to the document, which was obtained by Gannett's Albany Bureau, both the state and local health departments may need to bolster resources to deal with an anticipated surge if the state allows the natural gas drilling process.
While the state Department of Environmental Conservation is tasked with regulating the gas industry, the state Health Department anticipates it will be called to investigate any potential public health issues that arise from drilling. Those could include assessing the toxicity of chemicals used with hydrofracking, investigating any health-related complaints, and initiating any studies if a spike of illness or diseases crops up near a drilling site, the report states.
"The long-term support that (the DEC) may need from the state and local health departments will vary depending on how the permitting program develops and the reaction of the public and others to (high-volume hydrofracking) drilling activity," the report reads.
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