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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Truth about Drilling

"Over the past five years, the oil and gas industry has done everything in their power to convince people that fracking is safe everywhere.  They've used half-truths and misdirection in an attempt to convince the public that they have perfected the science and engineering of fracking in order to maximize their profits.  They've even gone so far as to pay for the publications of studies that tout the benefits and downplay the risk of toxic fracking in our communities.  They fail to mention that there is still much that they don’t know about the process  Luckily, grassroots and local organizations are funding real scientific studies to debunk the industry myths of clean energy and economic boom. A new PennEnvironment study found that there are permitted well sites within two miles of 190 day care facilities, 223 schools, and 5 hospitals in the Marcellus region.  In PA, the number of day care facilities rose 60 percent from late 2010.  Six different PA schools have had five or more fracking permits issued within a half-mile radius.  As the drilling frenzy increases, it is clear that an increasing number of sites will be located next to vulnerable populations unless something is done to stop it.


The Fort Worth League of Neighborhoods commissioned a team of scientists and experts versed in drilling emissions and pipeline issues to study air quality around natural gas drilling sites near Fort Worth, TX schools and make recommendations.  The study found significantly high levels of the pollutant carbon disulfide, which can travel over two miles from the source and is known to cause neurological, cardiovascular, behavioral and psychotic abnormalities.  They also found thousands of new sources of pollution (e.g. wellheads, tank batteries and compressor or processing sites) contributing to a steady flow of toxins.  Benzene and carbon tetrachloride were key hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) at each site.  Benzene is six times more likely to cause cancer in children than adults (a study conducted by the University of Texas School of Public Health in 2008)."


Industry paying for studies: http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/2013/09/30/taxpayer-and-industry-funded-review-of-dep-praises-its-oil-and-gas-regulations/
Non-industry studies on drilling impacts: http://www.pennenvironmentcenter.org/.
Air quality around schools with nearby drilling: http://www.fwlna.org/documents/ISDReport.pdf.

Protect Our Children: http://www.marcellusoutreachbutler.org/.