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New York’s Health Review of Hydraulic Fracturing Will Remain Outside the Public Eye; Still No Timetable for Completion

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Nirav Shah announced earlier this week that his public health review of hydraulic fracturing will continue in private until it is complete.  Despite facing harsh criticism for a lack of transparency in the review process, Shah told reporters that the scientific work surrounding hydraulic fracturing must be conducted in a “sacred space” to maintain objectivity.  “The process needs to be transparent at the end, not during,” Shah said.  Governor Andrew Cuomo said that there is no timetable for completion of the health review, although he reportedly anticipates it will be finished in 2014.  “But my timeline is whatever Commissioner Shah needs to do it right and feel comfortable,” Cuomo said. “It’s a major decision.”  Governor Cuomo previously said in June 2013 that he would make a decision on the State’s hydraulic fracturing moratorium before the 2014 election.