Monday, October 30, 2023

House Committee Hearing On Increasing Safety Setback Zones Around Natural Gas Facilities Heard About First-Hand Citizen Experiences On Health Impacts, From Physicians On Health Studies And The Gas Industry On Job Impacts; Sen. Yaw Calls Bill ‘Stupid’

On October 30 the
House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held its first-ever hearing on the health and environmental impacts of the shale gas industry and legislation increasing safety zone setbacks around gas infrastructure.

The Committee heard testimony from three citizens group representatives, including residents of Washington and Westmoreland counties, two physicians that studied health impacts of industry operations and a shale gas industry group and the PA Building and Construction Trades Council representing the industry.

The legislation being considered is House Bill 170 (Otten-D-Chester) increasing setback safety zones from shale natural gas drilling sites and infrastructure from 500 to 2,500 feet or more, based on the latest science.

Some key takeaways from the hearing--

-- Residents, Citizen Groups In Shale Gas Areas Have Documented Adverse Health & Environmental And Air Pollution Impacts--

      -- Lois Bower-Bjornson, a Washington County resident and field organizer for the nonprofit citizen group Clean Air Council, said, “I live and grew up in the most heavily fracked county in our state, Washington county. 

“My home is completely encompassed by the oil and gas industry, including well pads, compressor stations, pipelines, pig launchers, holding tanks, and truck traffic. 

“At every phase of oil and gas production, harmful air pollutants are deliberately released. These air pollutants include such things as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, formaldehyde, naphthalene.

“I have raised four children in my community - all who have suffered negative health impacts from the oil and gas industry and fracking. 

“According to a pilot study with environmental health news and award winning reporter Kristina Marusic, Fractured, the body and burden of proof measured what chemicals are in people’s bodies that live next to or close to fracking. 

“My entire family including all four of my children have fracking chemicals in their bodies due to the air we breathe.

“Throughout the past decade, fracking and related infrastructure have moved dangerously close to our homes, schools and communities. 

“As these highly industrialized operations move ever closer, they continue to pollute our air, contaminate our water, and harm our health.

“Research shows that living within at least 2,500 feet of fracking infrastructure exposes residents to unsafe levels of pollution linked to cancer, asthma, impacts on birth outcomes, and other serious health problems. 

“There are numerous studies pointing to the harms of living in close proximity to fracking operations. 

“The recent Pitt studies looked at the health risks of Southwest Pennsylvania residents who live close to fracking and found a strong association with low-birthweight during gas production, increased chance of children developing the rare cancer lymphoma, and increased risk of asthma.

“And yet, Pennsylvania only requires an easily waived 500 feet between fracking and homes.”

“A 2020 Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on fracking called this distance “woefully inadequate” and recommended a 2,500 foot buffer between fracking and homes, as well as greater distances for schools.  [Read more here]

“Every day, Pennsylvania residents’ health and safety are at unnecessary risk due to outdated laws.”

“To be clear, this bill is not about stopping fracking in Pennsylvania altogether - it is about being much smarter about where fracking should occur in a way that limits harms to our residents. 

“So these setbacks are already a compromise compared to the relief that residents truly need. Clean Air Council supports House Bill 170, as it would be a positive first step towards ensuring that Pennsylvania residents are better protected from the dangers that come from oil and gas and petrochemical infrastructure. 

“The reality is that we needed this legislation on the books and actively enforced 15 years ago.”

     -- Gillian Graber, a Westmoreland County resident and Executive Director of nonprofit citizens group Protect PT, said, “In November 2014, we found out that there would be a fracking well pad located over the hill from our home.  

“That fracking pad completely changed my life. 

“Overnight I was labeled as Environmentalist, Activist, Tree-hugger, and worse by the oil and gas executives who wish to discredit me for being a good mother. 

“I learned then and there that I will be damned if I let these people poison my kids. And now it’s not just my kids. It’s all the kids in my neighborhood."

"This is NOT a rural community. The studies done in Washington County and other rural counties in Pennsylvania tell us about what harms and diseases await communities like mine who are just starting to see fracking happen. 

“The only difference, instead of having 30 people within a mile, you will have 3,000 who will experience harm. This is why we need large statewide setbacks.

“If setbacks had already been in place when I started learning about the harms to school children from fracking, the school children that attend Level Green Elementary would not have the threat of 4 well pads within a mile of the school. 

“The thousands of people who live in my community would not breathe constant air pollution and have polluted water in their backyards."

"If we had appropriate setbacks, Penn Township would not have been sued by one gas company for $380 million for trying to protect its residents by denying three well pads. The gas company would know that they can’t bully us around, they can’t threaten us and destroy our community."

"Protect PT was founded to fill a need that the state wasn’t filling. I shouldn’t have had to do this.

“This is not just about me, but about how fracking in our backyards affected our whole community. 

“Everyone has a story like this, everyone has missed opportunities like these. Most of them haven’t been able to defend themselves. 

“Many of them get sick, or their kids get sick, and they don’t get another chance at a meaningful life like I did.

“It’s too late to change what happened to me and my family, but it’s not too late to prevent this disaster from visiting itself upon anyone else. Enact setbacks now. 

“Let your legacy in this committee be one of saving families across Pennsylvania. I don’t care what your politics are but I do care who’s side you are on. 

“Are you on the side of the families who live in PA and have the right to clean air and water? 

“Do you care about a person’s freedom to live a healthy life in a safe home?

“ If you do, then do the right thing and pass HB 170 into law. I’ve included a map of my community that shows all the well pads in my community."

     -- Melissa Ostroff, field advocate for nonprofit citizens group Earthworks, provided an overview of the work her group does documenting methane and hydrocarbon emissions from oil and gas facilities using FLIR optical gas imaging cameras.

“Policymakers must recognize this reality. Unconventional gas development cannot happen without significant air pollution, even under the best of circumstances. It is part of normal operations. 

“Additionally, fugitive emissions and leaks due to equipment malfunctions are a frequent problem in the oil and gas industry – something Earthworks has documented numerous times at well sites across the country. 

“What the optical gas imaging camera makes clear is that this air pollution – whether intentional or accidental – does not care about fencelines.

“In Pennsylvania, new well pads continue to be built in areas that are already densely developed with fracking infrastructure, leading to cumulative impacts.

“According to the Oil and Gas Threat Map developed by Earthworks and FracTracker Alliance, nearly 1.5 million Pennsylvanians already live within 1⁄2 mile of active oil and gas production facilities. 

‘When we build well pads, compressor stations, and other oil and gas infrastructure next to homes, schools, churches, and parks, Pennsylvania residents are exposed to pollution from this industry. 

“Setback distance requirements must reflect this reality by ensuring that these facilities are kept at a safe distance from the places where Pennsylvanians – especially children and other vulnerable residents – live, learn, and recreate."

"The setbacks proposed in this bill are the minimum necessary to protect the health and safety of all Pennsylvanians, and I urge you to seriously consider this legislation. 

"Public health must be the top priority when it comes to Pennsylvania’s siting of oil and gas facilities. As our optical gas imaging cameras make clear, what we don’t see can hurt us."

-- Doctors, Public Health Professionals Document Correlations Between Shale Gas Operations And Adverse Health Impacts--

     -- Dr. Ned Ketyer, Pediatrician and president of Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania, said, “If you don’t believe that people get sick when they live and work near fracking operations, then you really need to get out more. 

“Go to the counties where fracking operates, listen to the stories of people-- husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, grandparents who have lived on the land for generations, ex-industry workers-- listen to them and then try to talk yourself into believing fracking has nothing to do with it.

“If there is any doubt in your minds that fracking threatens the health, safety, and well-being of residents living nearby, just remember that it is they-- citizens of Pennsylvania, your constituents-- who deserve the benefit of the doubt and not the shale gas industry. 

“Read the studies, and when you hear the industry try to cast doubt on the science, remember that the industry hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt. 

“Pennsylvania residents who live near fracking and have seen their property contaminated and their health decline have earned that benefit.

“Today-- 20 years into the Marcellus Shale fracking boom-- there are dozens of epidemiologic studies and hundreds of other peer-reviewed scientific and medical research papers showing harm to peoples’ physical and mental health, the health of the environment, and to the planet’s climate system. 

“There are also hundreds more government reports and media investigations linking fracking to prenatal harm, respiratory impacts, cancer, heart disease, mental health problems, and premature death. 

“All of this information is compiled in the fracking science Compendium. The 9th edition was published last week by PSR and Concerned Health Professionals of New York."

"There is a common thread that holds these studies and reports and investigations together: The association between proximity to fracking activities and health damage. 

“By now it’s clear that a 500 foot buffer from homes, childcare centers, schools, businesses, hospitals, and nursing homes is way too small. 

“Increasing the distance between the activity and where people (especially children) live, work, learn, and play is only one step, but an important one, to protect the health of Pennsylvanians from dangerous fracking emissions consisting of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), volatile organic compounds (VOCs like benzene, toluene, and formaldehyde), ozone-forming nitrogen oxides, heat-trapping methane, radon gas, and many other toxics."

"For example:

-- It’s a fact that fracking scars the landscape and degrades the environment. You can see it from Space on Google Earth or on a tour of Pennsylvania’s fracklands.

-- We know for certain that fracking pollutes the air, the water, and the soil that all of us share and depend on, a direct violation of Article 1 Section 27 of the PA Constitution.

-- We know beyond a reasonable doubt that fracking in PA endangers wildlife, aquatic creatures, farm animals, and family pets.

-- We know that fracking accelerates climate change. Instead of a “bridge fuel”, fracked methane is a bridge on the highway to climate catastrophe.

-- And finally, there is no denying that fracking is making Pennsylvanians-- pregnant women and children, the elderly, and industry workers especially-- sick.

“Pennsylvanians don’t need any more studies to expect action in Harrisburg. You don’t need to wait for more studies to adopt health-protective policies for the sake of Pennsylvania’s parents, grandparents, and children.

“Push back the setbacks. Way back. The science and, frankly, common sense, overwhelmingly scream that a 500 foot setback is too close. 

“In fact, you should also agree that 2,500 feet also is too close. Environmental Health Project advises:

-- A minimum of 3,300 feet (approximately 1 kilometer or 0.6 miles) between smaller shale gas facilities (eg. small well pads) and homes.

-- A distance of 6,600 feet (approximately 2 km or 1.2 mi) between larger facilities (large well pads, gas processing plants, and compressor stations) and homes.

-- A distance of 6,600 feet between any shale gas facility and places like schools, childcare centers, hospitals, nursing homes, and buildings housing vulnerable populations.”

     -- Dr. Cassandra J. Clark, Yale University School Of Medicine, provided an overview of a study on the impact of unconventional shale gas impact exposure and risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia that found an “observed elevated risk of developing ALL for children living within 2, 5, and 10 km of UOGD [shale gas] during the prenatal period and in early life.”

“The odds of developing ALL were nearly 2 times higher in children with at least one UOG well within 2 km of their birth residence during early life compared to those with no UOG wells.”

“The size of the effect that we observed decreased across the larger 5 km and 10 km buffer sizes, but remained elevated, indicating consistently increased risk associated with exposure to UOGD within 10 km.”

“In summary, our study suggests that children living near UOGD have increased odds of developing leukemia.”

“Our results in the context of the broader environmental and epidemiologic literature suggest that existing setback distances are insufficiently public health protective, particularly for vulnerable populations like children, and should be revisited and informed by more recent data.”

-- Shale Gas Industry Defends Existing Safety Zone and Regulations, Opposes Any Change--  David Callahan, President of Marcellus Shale Gas Coalition--

-- Defended 11-Year-Old Setbacks: defended the now 11-year-old safety zones included in the Oil and Gas Act of 2012 as “perhaps the most stringent setback distances of any major hydrocarbon producing state in the nation.”  

Other states like Colorado or California have more stringent safety setbacks.

The industry presented a chart and maps to the Committee purporting to show how much land would be included in the proposed setbacks in some major gas producing counties.  

Washington County, the most heavily drilled county in the state has lots of homes, schools, hospitals, water wells, drinking water intakes, buildings and gas development infrastructure, would see land included in safety setback zones from 43% to 99%.

Independent studies since 2012, a significant number in Pennsylvania, have concluded more safety measures are needed to protect public health and the environment.  Read more here.

Recent mapping shows 1,482,810 people in Pennsylvania live within a half-mile (2,640 feet) of the over 109,510 oil or natural gas wells, compressors, processing facilities and other infrastructure in the state, including 202,388 students.  Read more here.

-- Comprehensive Regulations Needed With Setbacks: The industry also explained safety zones work together with other regulatory requirements and “are not a substitute for a comprehensive and robust regulatory regimen, or for the industry’s best practices that supplement and often serve as the basis for the regulatory requirements.”  

Independent, non-industry reviews of oil and gas industry regulations over the last 10 years have concluded they do not adequately protect public health and the environment.  Read more here.

There have been no comprehensive changes in Oil and Gas Program regulations covering unconventional shale gas development in seven years-- since 2016-- and no comprehensive update in conventional oil and gas industry regulations in 36 years-- since 1987.  

An update to the conventional regulations was killed in 2016 by the General Assembly and Gov. Wolf.  Read more here.

The only major regulation adopted recently was Air Quality Program rules limiting methane emissions from conventional and unconventional oil and gas facilities.  Read more here.

-- Critical Of 2020 Grand Jury Report On DEP Regulatory Program Failures: The gas industry said the Grand Jury convened by then Attorney General Josh Shapiro to look at the DEP program to regulate the shale gas industry“exhibited a jarring lack of understand regarding how natural gas development is conducted and the statutory and regulatory requirements already in place.”

The citizens on the Grand Jury took two years of testimony and “began this investigation based on evidence that private companies engaged in unconventional oil and gas activities have committed criminal violations of Pennsylvania’s environmental laws.”

Shapiro said the Grand Jury’s final report showed “There remains a profound gap between our Constitutional mandate for clean air and pure water, and the realities facing Pennsylvanians who live in the shadow of fracking giants and their investors.”  “When it comes to fracking, Pennsylvania failed.”

The report pointed to weakness is multiple state laws that failed to protect the public and the environment from negative impacts of the industry.  Read more here.

In April, now Gov. Shapiro reiterated his support for the key changes in law recommended in the 2020 Grand Jury report.  Read more here.

-- How The Committee Should Do Its Job: Callahan said the industry was “disappointed” Committee Chairman Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) did not initially invite the gas industry to the hearing and had to go through Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron), Minority Chair, to be part of the hearing.

“It is incumbent upon those entrusted by the citizens of Pennsylvania to shape public policy to judiciously entertain perspectives that may differ from theirs.  That judicious mindset, unfortunately, is lacking at this hearing.

“Defaulting to House Rules that allow the minority chair to attempt to balance a hearing agenda through the election of one witness is an insufficient redress and does not absolve the Committee majority of its obligation to be fair-minded and even-handed to all major stakeholders impacted by legislation under consideration.”

The facts are this is the first time either the Senate and House standing committees on the environment ever held a hearing on the health and environmental impacts of gas development and safety zones around gas infrastructure.

The House Environmental Committee, in previous sessions, has had hearings on natural gas issues like ‘Wellhead to Stovetop’ and “Oil & Gas Byproducts - Could We Live Without Them?

The Senate Environmental Committee has had hearings on the role of natural gas LNG in US Energy Security, the failure to invest in the state’s natural gas infrastructure, how foreign entities stand in the way of Pennsylvania’s gas development and how fast DEP is reviewing permit applications.

The Senate did hold hearings on pipeline safety in 2018, in particular the Mariner East Pipeline, but no legislation came out of it, except for changes to the PA One Call underground utility notification system.  Read more here.

The Public Utility Commission has been working to make its regulations covering petroleum and hazardous liquids more protective within its existing authority.  Read more here.

Senator Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson), President Pro Tempore of the Senate, introduced legislation in 2013 and again in 2015 to create a shale gas health advisory panel and registry of complaints, but nothing ever came of it.

The Senate and House Democratic Policy Committees have held hearings on issues related to natural gas setbacks and health and safety issues, but again no legislation moved.  Read more here.

Click Here for a copy of the shale gas industry testimony.

-- House Bill 170 Would Be A Ban On New Natural Gas Development And Ban On Union Jobs-- Robert S. Bair, PA Building & Construction Trades Council--

“Just so there is no confusion: House Bill 170 is nothing more than a ban of new natural gas development in the Commonwealth.”

“Let us be clear: when you ban new development, you ban jobs for my members.  If there are no new gas wells being drilled, there is no new infrastructure that is needed.

“Pipelines, processing facilities, new manufacturing plants, power plants needed to stabilize our electric grid-- none of these would be built.

“To some who enjoy the benefits of our work without acknowledging their own dependence upon it, this may seem like good news.  Such a view is detached from reality, and particularly insulting to my members when it is made by individuals who never have to worry about whether their next paycheck will arrive.

“Where will our energy come from if this bill becomes law?  It won’t come from Pennsylvania.  You will make us dependent, once again, on not only other states but other counties.

“And I can assure you-- none of these other countries develop their energy resources to the worker safety and environmental standards that we insist upon here in Pennsylvania.”

              Comments By Chairmen

Minority Chair, Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron), said, “ I think the current setbacks are adequate and that's my position.”

It's a far-reaching bill that has a lot of implications across the Commonwealth.”  

“I'd just like to say that I think this bill, to be honest with you, is dangerous for multiple reasons. I think that it's irresponsible and I think it should be rejected.”

Majority Chair, Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) got agreement from David Callahan, Marcellus Shale Coalition, he would share their “facts and analysis” about the impact of House Bill 170 with the prime sponsor Rep. Otten.

Robert Bair from the PA Building & Construction Trades Council said he is willing to “sit down and talk to anybody.”

Statement By Sen. Yaw

Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, issued this statement on the House hearing--

“Make no mistake. House Bill 170 is a ban on natural gas development in Pennsylvania. It is horrible legislation from an environmental, economic and property rights perspective.

“It is often said that we cannot legislate against stupidity. That is true but we can stop stupid legislation from becoming law.  Should House Bill 170 or any similar legislation pass the House of Representatives, it will not be considered in the Senate.”    Read more here.

Click Here to watch a video of the hearing.

Testimony Provided To Committee-- 

-- Lois Bower-Bjornson, Clean Air Council, Washington County

-- Gillian Graber, Protect PT, Westmoreland County

-- Dr. Cassandra J. Clark, Yale University School Of Medicine

-- Dr. Ned Ketyer, Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania

-- Melissa Ostroff, field advocate for nonprofit citizens group Earthworks

-- Robert S. Bair, PA Building & Construction Trades Council

-- David Callahan, President of Marcellus Shale Gas Coalition

Written comments submitted to  Committee--

-- Cathy Lodge, Environmental Integrity Project

-- FracTracker Alliance

-- PennEnvironment

-- Clean Water Action

-- Environmental Coalition Letter

-- Concerned Resident Letters

-- American Petroleum Institute Pennsylvania

Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) serves as Majority Chair of the House Environmental Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-787-7647 or sending email to: Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-5075 or by sending email to:

Upcoming Events:

-- PA League Of Women Voters, University Of Pittsburgh Graduate School Of Public Health Nov. 14 Shale Gas & Public Health Conference  [PaEN]

-- University Of Pittsburgh Studies Of Shale Gas Development Health Impacts To Be Discussed At Nov. 14 Joint Meeting Of DEP Citizens Advisory Council, Environmental Justice Advisory Board  [PaEN]

Related Articles - Health/Environmental Impacts:

-- Gov. Shapiro: We Need Stronger Laws To Deal With The ‘Corporate Greed’ That Let Oil & Gas Operators Get Away With Abandoning Wells For Far Too Long [PaEN]

-- Feature: 60 Years Of Fracking, 20 Years Of Shale Gas: Pennsylvania’s Oil & Gas Industrial Infrastructure Is Hiding In Plain Sight [PaEN]

-- Conventional Oil & Natural Gas Drilling: An Industrial Machine Moving Across The PA Countryside Leaving Behind Big Liabilities & Spreading Pollution Everywhere It Goes  [PaEN]

-- 3 Days That Shook Washington County: Natural Gas Plant Explosion; Pipeline Leak Of 1.1 Million Cubic Feet Of Gas; 10,000 Gallon Spill At Compressor Station  [PaEN]

-- Citizen Complaint, Company Report Results In DEP Inspection Finding 63,000 Gallon Wastewater Spill At Seneca Resources Shale Gas Well On State Game Lands In Elk County; More Leaks, Spills  [PaEN]

-- EQT Shale Gas Wastewater Truck Rolls Over Spilling More Than 4,600 Gallons Of Wastewater In Lycoming County [PaEN]

-- Equitrans Determined Leak Of Over 1.1 Billion Cubic Feet Of Natural Gas From Cambria County Storage Facility Was Caused By Corrosion In Conventional Gas Well Casing   [PaEN]

-- Ohio/PA Train Derailment, Pipeline Explosions, Uncontrolled Releases Put Spotlight On Public Health, Safety Threats Posed By Petrochemical, Natural Gas Industrial And Pipeline Infrastructure In PA  [PaEN] 

-- 9th Compendium Of Studies On Health & Environmental Harms From Natural Gas Development Released - ‘The Rapidly Expanding Body Of Evidence Compiled Here Is Massive, Troubling And Cries Out For Decisive Action’  [PaEN]

-- University Of Pittsburgh School Of Public Health Studies Find Shale Gas Wells Can Make Asthma Worse; Children Have An Increased Chance Of Developing Lymphoma Cancer; Slightly Lower Birth Weights  [PaEN]

-- Senate Hearing: Body Of Evidence Is 'Large, Growing,’ ‘Consistent’ And 'Compelling' That Shale Gas Development Is Having A Negative Impact On Public Health; PA Must Act  [PaEN]

-- State Dept. Of Health Apologizes For Not Listening To Communities Suffering Health Impacts From Shale Gas Development; New Health Study Results ‘Just The Tip Of The Iceberg’  [PaEN]

-- State Dept. Of Health Invites Citizens To File Environmental Health Complaints Related To Natural Gas Development; Health Will Also Review Environmental Test Results  [PaEN] 

-- Environmental Health Project Finds Results ‘Very Concerning’ From University Of Pittsburgh Studies Showing Links Between Natural Gas Development And Lymphoma Cancer, Worsening Asthma Conditions, Lower Birth Weights  [PaEN]

-- Between The Lines Podcast: Pediatrician Dr. Ned Ketyer Explains The Results Of New Studies Of The Health Impacts Of Natural Gas Development On Children And Adults  [PaEN]

-- New University Of Chicago Medical Study Connects Natural Gas Development In PA To Real, Serious Human Health Outcomes In Comparison To New York State  [PaEN]

-- Environmental Health Project: PA’s Natural Gas Boom - What Went Wrong? Why Does It Matter?  What Can We Do Better To Protect Public Health?  [PaEN]

-- Presentations Now Available From Shale Gas & Public Health Conference In Nov. Hosted By PA League Of Women Voters & University Of Pittsburgh Graduate School Of Public Health   [PaEN]

-- Yale School Of Public Health Study Found PA Children 2 To 3 Times More Likely To Be Diagnosed With Leukemia If They Live Near Unconventional Shale Gas Facilities  [PaEN]

-- Study: Industry Data Shows Hazardous Air Pollutants Are ‘Ubiquitous’ In The Natural Gas Transmission System; More Justification For Robust Leak Prevention Programs   [PaEN]

-- Penn State Study: Potential Pollution Caused By Road Dumping Conventional Oil & Gas Wastewater Makes It Unsuitable For A Dust Suppressant, Washes Right Off The Road Into The Ditch  [PaEN]

-- New Penn State Study: Brine Water Pumped From Played-Out Conventional Oil & Gas Wells And Used As Dust Suppressants, Winter Road Treatments Exceed Environmental, Health Standards, Just Like Conventional Oil & Gas Brine Water  [PaEN]

-- DEP Report Finds: Conventional Oil & Gas Drillers Routinely Abandon Wells; Fail To Report How Millions Of Gallons Of Waste Is Disposed; And Non-Compliance Is An ‘Acceptable Norm’  [PaEN]

-- Conventional Oil & Gas Well Owners Failed To File Annual Production/Waste Generation Reports For 61,655 Wells; Attorney General Continues Investigation Of Road Dumping Wastewater  [PaEN]

-- Public Source: ‘It’s Just Too Close:’ People Living Near Natural Gas Drilling, Industrial Facilities Suffer As State And Local Governments Fail To Buffer Homes

-- What It’s Like To Raise A Family In The Most Fracked County In PA - Washington County: PA Physicians For Social Responsibility [Video]

-- Environmental Health Project: Setback Distances And The Regulations We Need To Protect Public Health From Oil & Gas Facilities   [PaEN]

-- Senators Santarsiero, Comitta To Introduce Bill Increasing Setback Safety Zones From Shale Natural Gas Drilling Sites From 500 To 2,500 Feet, Based On Latest Science  [PaEN]

-- Inside Climate News: Gov. Shapiro Provides Fresh Support To Key Changes Recommended In 2020 Grand Jury Report To Tighten Regulation Of The Natural Gas Drilling Industry To Better Protect Public Health, Environment  [PaEN] 

-- Environmental Health Project: How DEP Issues Permits For Shale Gas Facilities Without Considering Cumulative Impacts - How New Facilities Will Add To Existing Pollution Loads And Impact The Area [PaEN]

-- DEP: Widespread Presence Of PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ In Fresh Water Leading Shale Gas Operators To Use Contaminated Water In Fracking Operations; DEP Doesn’t Require Routine PFAS Testing  [PaEN]

-- DEP Issued 754 Notices Of Violation For Defective Oil & Gas Well Casing, Cementing, The Fundamental Protection Needed To Prevent Gas Migration, Groundwater & Air Contamination, Explosions [PaEN]

-- Creating New Brownfields: Oil & Gas Well Drillers Notified DEP They Are Cleaning Up Soil & Water Contaminated With Chemicals Harmful To Human Health, Aquatic Life At 272 Locations In PA  [PaEN]

-- Republican Rep. Krupa Introduces HB 1656 To Ban Oil, Gas Wastewater Injection Wells To Protect The Public From Radioactive, Toxic Materials [PaEN]

-- Center For Rural Pennsylvania: Rural Population To Shrink 5.8%; Fewer Young People, More Older People; Current Policies Failed To Sustain Communities, Ensure Long-Term Rural Resiliency  [PaEN]

More Environmental & Health Impact Articles:

-- Click Here for more articles on oil and gas infrastructure impacts on health and the environment.

PA Oil & Gas Industry Public Notice Dashboards:

-- Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - Oct. 28 to Nov. 3 - Fire At PA General Energy Shale Gas Well Pad; 5 More Abandoned Conventional Wells; Replugging Shale Gas Well  [PaEN] 

-- PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices/Opportunities To Comment - November 4  [PaEN]

-- DEP Posted 57 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In Nov. 4 PA Bulletin  [PaEN]

Related Articles This Week:

-- Gov. Shapiro, CNX Natural Gas Company Sign Statement Of Mutual Interests To Monitor Air Emissions At Drill Sites, Extend Safety Setbacks While Data Is Being Collected; DEP To Move Ahead With Some Reg Changes  [PaEN]

-- Evangelical Environmental Network Thanks Gov. Shapiro For Defending Children's Health Thru An Agreement With CNX Natural Gas; Believes In Repenting Of Sins, 2nd Chances  [PaEN]

-- Attorney General Henry Announces Criminal Charges Against Equitrans For 2018 Natural Gas Explosion That Destroyed Home In Greene County  [PaEN]

-- House Committee Hearing On Increasing Safety Setbacks Zones Around Natural Gas Facilities Heard About First-Hand Citizen Experiences On Health Impacts, From Physicians On Health Studies And The Gas Industry On Job Impacts  [PaEN]

-- Sen. Yaw, Republican Chair Of Senate Environmental Committee, Calls Bill To Reduce Shale Gas Industry Impacts On Health, Environment ‘Stupid’  [PaEN] 

-- University Of Pittsburgh Studies Of Shale Gas Development Health Impacts To Be Discussed At Nov. 14 Joint Meeting Of DEP Citizens Advisory Council, Environmental Justice Advisory Board  [PaEN]

-- PA League Of Women Voters, University Of Pittsburgh Graduate School Of Public Health Nov. 14 Shale Gas & Public Health Conference  [PaEN] 

-- Marcellus Drilling News: Mariner East 2X Natural Gas Liquids Pipeline Being Repaired After Dent Discovered In Chester County During Maintenance Check  [PaEN]

-- PUC Issues Emergency Order To PA American Water To Operate Troubled East Dunkard Water Authority In Greene County; Lawsuit Filed Alleging Water Tainted By Mine Drainage, Shale Gas Operations  [PaEN]

-- Philadelphia LNG Export Task Force Issues Report On The Best Ways To Increase Exports Of PA's Natural Gas; Minority Report Rebuts Need For LNG Facility, Outlines Impacts  [PaEN]

-- Protect PT Holds Nov. 11 Workshop On Living Near Shale Gas In Westmoreland County  [PaEN]  

[Posted: October 30, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

1 comment :

  1. It is astonishing and even a bit frightening that minority chair Causer believes fracking has been going on in his county for 150 years (he said that... TWICE). It’s likely that oil and gas drilling has been going on in Cameron County for 150 years (after all, the process was invented in PA in 1859), but hydraulic fracking using water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure has been used in PA only since 2003. It’s a very basic fact about oil and gas extraction in this state that the minority CHAIR of the House ENVIRONMENT RESOURCES and ENERGY committee doesn’t comprehend. How can that be?


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