New York’s chief health regulator gave more than three hours of testimony Monday at a legislative budget hearing, where he faced questions on fracking, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s medical marijuana plan, the state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act and delays in paying early intervention providers.
But when he met with reporters afterward, the focus was on a single topic: Shah’s fracking review.
Shah, when pressed by reporters, steadfastly declined to release any of his work and declined to get into much detail about the review. But he did offer a few scientific studies that he has been analyzing, including a study detailed in the Los Angeles Times that found hormone-disrupting chemicals at fracking sites in Colorado.
When asked why the public should have confidence in his process—which has been conducted entirely behind closed doors—Shah said his work is consistent with other scientific reviews.
“With most studies, the study is done in a certain way and afterwards there’s a peer-review process where folks can look at the study, see if they can replicate the results, see if they can use their own assumptions and come to the same finding,” Shah said. “To the extent that this review after the fact will be subject to such a process by the public and by scientists, it’s incumbent on me to make sure that every step of the way we’re doing the best science possible, we’re transparent internally about how we can get to certain assumptions. ”
He continued: “And all findings at the end, all suggestions and recommendations at the end, anyone if they follow the science trail should reach that same conclusion.”
Here’s much of Shah’s Q&A session with reporters: