Democrats in both the Senate and Assembly have been busy today on the issue of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, announcing that the lower chamber will push for a study of the drilling process’ health impacts while those in the upper chamber are pushing for a public hearing on a list of bills.

A day after releasing a public letter to Speaker Sheldon Silver, Ithaca Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton announced today that the Assembly’s budget resolution out later this week will include $100,000 for a “comprehensive health study” of hydrofracking. While the state Department of Environmental Conservation has evaluated the technique for much of the last four years, its study has been criticized by environmental groups for not taking a strong enough look at the potential impacts on human health.

“This study will go a long way to answer the many questions New Yorkers have about what fracking would mean for their health if this goes forward,” Lifton said in a statement. “I hope the Senate will follow the Assembly’s leadership on this critical issue.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget didn’t include any additional funds for gas-drilling regulators, saying that he wouldn’t include such funding until the DEC made a decision on whether to allow high-volume hydrofracking.

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