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Report: Gas drilling safe under proposed rules

ALBANY — An unreleased state report leaked to media outlets says the Department of Environmental Conservation’s regulatory plan for gas drillers describes potential health impacts from fracking along with specific safety measures and it makes a separate health impact study unnecessary.

The document, first reported by the New York Times and Gannett News Service and published online Thursday by New York State public radio, references sections of DEC’s draft environmental review that deal with health impacts from shale gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The report concludes that adverse health impacts will be prevented if DEC’s guidelines are followed.

A DEC spokeswoman said the report is an outdated draft.

“The document is not a health assessment, is nearly a year old, and does not reflect final DEC policy,” spokeswoman Emily DeSantis said in a statement.

The eight-page document references sections of DEC’s 1,500-page environmental impact study of shale gas development. A final version of that study, which is expected to be released in February, will include revisions based on public comment and a health impact review now under way by the state Health Department and three outside experts, DEC has said.