Health Scandal

Jon Campbell of Gannett News broke the story that revealed leaked documents showing two groups representing county health departments - NYS Conference of Environmental Health Directors and the NYS Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) – prepared separate reports expressing concerns about the burden that fracking could place on their operations as well as fracking’s impacts on health and drinking water. Those reports were intended for the state’s Hydrofracking Advisory Panel, whose January 12 meeting was abruptly canceled a day before the reports were supposed to be unveiled. The DEC had said the Jan. 12 meeting was postponed because the “main presenter requested additional time to prepare.” Yet Linda Wagner, executive director of the Association of County Health Officials, said in an e-mail to Campbell that the group asked to postpone “due to weather concerns for those traveling.” Then the January 26th meeting was canceled and the panel never reconvened. Although they were written specifically for the Advisory Panel, the DEC never sent the reports to the panel.