March 11, 2013

Fracking Risks

We have but a short moment to breathe and then continue our work in NY to stop the massive industrialization of our region due to natural gas drilling by HVHF.  The health risks known by the citizens that live near drilling regions are finally getting more formal study.   David Brown, public health toxicologist with the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, wrote an excellent article with recommendations for DOH Dr. Nivah Shah to follow as he continues the study of health affects from fracking for NY State.
The most important thing I've learned from our work and would wish to share with you and your team is this: unlike other industries, there is no fence line with drilling and fracking operations. It's an activity that turns communities into industrial zones.
The people often placed at risk are not necessarily benefiting or employed by the gas extraction industry. They are free citizens who have had these risks imposed on them. No one, especially ourselves as public health officials, can assure people who live, work, or attend school near drilling and fracking operations that they are safe.

It is imperative that when we look at the industry of drilling for natural gas we must keep in mind the affects realized by all citizens of a region.  If anyone suffers ill affects, then the technology should not be allowed to develop forward.  Re-invent the process or better yet, try an entirely new concept of engineering safe, sustainable energy sources.

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