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March 8, 2013

Seward: Frack moratorium unnecessary

(Continued)

The vote in the Democratic-controlled Assembly was along party lines.

Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, voted in favor of the extension, while Assembly members Peter Lopez of Schoharie, Clifford Crouch of Guilford and Claudia Tenney of New Hartford — all Republicans — voted against it.

The Senate version was introduced by Sen. David Carlucci, who represents Rockland County and part of Westchester. Carlucci is a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, which has aligned itself with Republicans to share control the chamber.

In addition to the DEC and Health Department studies, moratorium supporters cite several impending studies as reasons to wait:

The Geisinger Health System, a nonprofit hospital chain in eastern Pennsylvania, is using its patient records to study how fracking may affect the health of people living near wells. The study received $1 million foundation grant last year.

The University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration with scientists from Columbia, Johns Hopkins and the University of North Carolina, also is studying the health effects of hydrofracturing.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency started a massive, nationwide study in 2011 of how hydraulic fracturing affects water quality. Preliminary reports from the agency suggest the study will continue at least through next year.

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