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EHN conducted a two-year study that found Pennsylvania families living near fracking wells are being exposed to high levels of harmful industrial chemicals. Our findings are documented in the four-part series Fractured: The body burden of living near fracking.
A few weeks after the series was published, a group of 34 lawmakers from the state House and Senate issued a public letter to Governor Tom Wolf, Acting Secretary of the Department of Health Alison Beam, and Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection Patrick McDonnell calling on them to take action in response to our findings.
"[The findings] are alarming in terms of the effects on the long-term health and safety of these residents," the lawmakers wrote. "Does this administration believe it has adequately protected Pennsylvanians from the harms of fracking? Does this administration honestly believe that fracking is safe for our families? The people of Pennsylvania deserve answers to these questions."
The full letter is available here. This is a complete list of the politicians who signed it:
|Rep. Jessica Benham (D) District 36 (Allegheny County)||Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler (D) District 184 (Philadelphia County)||Rep. Joe Hohenstein (D) District 177 (Philadelphia County)||Rep. Leanne Krueger (D) District 161 (Delaware County)||Sen. Steve Santasarieo (D) District 10 (Bucks County)||Rep. Greg Vitali (D) District 166 (Delaware and Montgomery Counties)|
|Sen. Jim Brewster (D) District 45 (Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties)||Sen.Wayne Fontana (D) District 42 (Allegheny County)||Sen. Vincent Hughes (D) District 7 (Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties)||Rep. Summer Lee (D) District 34 (Allegheny County)||Sen. Nikil Saval (D) District 1 (Philadelphia County)||Rep. Perry Warren (D) District 31 (Bucks County)|
|Rep. Tim Briggs (D) District 149 (Montgomery County)||Rep. Danielle Friel-Otten (D) District 155 (Chester County)||Rep. Sara Innamorato (D) District 21 (Allegheny County)||Sen. Katie Muth (D) District 44 (Berks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties)||Rep. Pete Schweyer (D) District 22 (Lehigh County)||Rep. Joe Webster (D) District 150 (Montgomery County)|
|Sen. Amanda Cappelletti (D) District 17 (Delaware and Montgomery Counties)||Rep. Nancy Guenst (D) District 152 (Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties)||Rep. Mary Issacson (D) District 175 (Philadelphia County)||Rep. Napoleon Nelson (D) District 57 (Westmoreland County)||Rep. Melissa Shusterman (D) District 157 (Chester and Montgomery Counties)||Sen. Lindsey Williams (D) District 38 (Allegheny County)|
|Sen. Maria Collett (D) District 12 (Bucks and Montgomery Counties)||Rep. Dianne Herrin (D) District 156 (Chester County)||Sen. Tim Kearny (D) District 26 (Chester and Delaware Counties)||Rep. Christopher Rabb (D) District 200 (Philadelphia County)||Rep. Mike Sturla (D) District 96 (Lancaster County)||Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D) District 2 (Philadelphia County)|
|Sen. Carolyn Comitta (D) District 19 (Chester County)||Rep. Carol Hill-Evans (D) District 95 (York County)||Rep. Rick Krajewski (D) District 188 (Philadelphia County)||Rep. Ben Sanchez (D) District 153 (Montgomery County)|
About a month after the series was published we began reaching out to Pennsylvania politicians who didn't sign the letter to hear their thoughts on our findings and ask what they're doing to protect Pennsylvania residents from harmful pollution from the oil and gas industry.
Some were eager to talk. Some ignored us entirely. Others politely (or not so politely) blew us off. A few interviews are still pending. We'll update this list as responses continue rolling in, so if you're a politician or policy-maker interested in sharing your thoughts, please get in touch.
Here are the responses we've gotten so far from a range of regional and state politicians, along with their contact information for constituents who'd like to follow up (see sample language here):
Banner photo: Pennsylvania State Sen. Gene Yaw (top left), State Rep. and Pittsburgh Mayoral Candidate Ed Gainey (top center), Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (right), State Sen. Katie Muth (bottom left), and Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi (bottom center) Photo credit: Creative Commons/EHN
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