The natural gas drilling process known as fracking would not be a danger to public health in New York state so long as proper safeguards were put into place, according to a health department report that environmentalists fear could help lift a moratorium on the controversial technique.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is weighing the economic benefits of hydraulic fracturing - commonly known as fracking - against the environmental risks from a technology that could unlock a vast domestic energy supply but also one that environmentalists say pollutes groundwater and the air.
Potential hazards could be avoided by implementing precautions the state has identified, according to a February 2012 preliminary assessment from the New York State Department of Health that became widely reported in the media on Thursday.
"Significant adverse impacts on human health are not expected from routine HVHF," or high volume hydraulic fracturing, the document concluded.
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