The case of fracking in Pennsylvania shows that if experts and fossil fuel industry leaders can cooperate, innovation is possible.
The tours are open to the public and consist of tours near properties that have well sites, compressor stations and other natural gas activities.
A new study led by a researcher at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health identifies a link between proximity to hydraulic fracking activities and mental health issues during pregnancy.
A new meta study brings together the findings of more than 1700 studies, articles and reports on the health impacts of fracking. Coauthor Sandra Steingraber, a professor of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Ithaca College, joins Host Bobby Bascomb to discuss the importance of this massive body of evidence.
A group of doctors and scientists have released a report highlighting that 84 percent of studies published from 2009-2015 on the health impacts of fracking conclude the industry causes harm to human health.
Credit: Mark Dixon/Flickr
<p>Meanwhile, industry officials maintain that the practice is safe.</p><p>Last week, more than 100 groups, 800 individual Pennsylvania residents, and a few celebrities sent a <a href="https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/sites/default/files/letter_to_governor_wolf_on_cancer_investigation.pdf" target="_blank">public letter</a> to Gov. Tom Wolf urging the state to investigate potential links between the industry and many cases of rare childhood cancers in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and to stop issuing new drilling permits in the meantime. </p><p>In response, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, a pro-industry group, sent the Governor <a href="http://marcelluscoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Letter-to-Gov-Wolf.pdf" target="_blank">its own letter</a> stating that there are no conclusive links between childhood cancer and fracking, and urging him to "reject [the] ridiculous request" to halt fracking until health impacts can be studied further.</p><p>Steingraber pointed out that much of the data included in her organization's new report comes from Pennsylvania, since fracking has been underway in the state for more than a decade and is taking place in more densely populated regions than fracking hubs like Colorado, Wyoming and Texas. Pennsylvania is the country's second-largest natural gas producer behind Texas. </p><p>"What makes fracking different from any other industry I've studied in public health is that there's no industrial zone," she said. "It's taking place literally in our backyards, and unfortunately some of the best evidence for both polluting emissions and emerging health crises is coming out of Southwestern Pennsylvania."</p><p>Representatives from Physicians for Social Responsibility and Concerned Health Professionals of New York traveled to Harrisburg today to present their findings to Pennsylvania lawmakers. </p><p>Steingraber will be among them, and said she hopes to draw attention to Wolf's recent <a href="https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/news/20190516/gov-wolf-says-he-supports-full-fracking-ban-in-delaware-river-basin" target="_blank">support</a> for a full ban on fracking in the Delaware River Basin on the eastern side of the state.</p><p>"Gov. Wolf's support of a fracking ban in the Delaware River Basin is essentially an admission that fracking is inherently dangerous," Steingraber said. "I give him credit for that wise decision, but kids in Southwestern Pennsylvania are supposed to have the same rights as kids in the eastern part of the state."</p><p>"If fracking is too dangerous for the Delaware River Basin," she added, "it's too dangerous for anyone's river basin."</p><p><em>Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect where the original data came from for the new report.</em></p>
Fracking has been linked to preterm births, high-risk pregnancies, asthma, migraine headaches, fatigue, nasal and sinus symptoms, and skin disorders over the last 10 years, according to a new study.
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