Fracking health study results likely years off

Mary Esch, Associated Press
Fracking health study results likely years off

FILE - In this June 20, 2012 file photo, protesters rally against the oil and gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," as the legislative session winds down at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y. The health study cited by leading environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as a turning point in helping persuade Gov. Andrew Cuomo to scrap plans for a limited fracking pilot program is not expected to be the defining study on whether fracking is safe, according to researchers involved in the project and other independent experts. (AP Photo/Tim Roske, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A health study cited by leading environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as pivotal in helping persuade Gov. Andrew Cuomo to hold off on plans for a limited fracking pilot program is likely years away from conclusions about whether the shale gas-drilling technology is safe.

Andy Deubler (DOOB'-luhr), an executive vice president at Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania, says the study is still in early planning stages with only a fraction of its necessary funding. He says it's just one piece of a larger body of independent research just getting under way and seeking funding.

Preliminary results are expected within a year.

Leaders of an anti-fracking coalition in New York state have said Cuomo should wait for results of the Geisinger study. They also want a more extensive, New York-specific review.