Author Archives: Arlow Linton

Pennsylvania to Conduct Long-Term Air Quality Study Near Fracking Sites

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection announced on Monday that it has begun a long-term, one-year air monitoring study of Marcellus Shale hydraulic fracking sites.  The study will take place downwind of the Houston gas processing plant in Chartiers Township, as well as at three other sites in Washington County.  DEP will measure ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen sulfide and methane. Ambient air will also be tested for more than 60 volatile organic compounds.  “We operate on facts and sound science, and…

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Associated Press Reports Some Researchers Dispute Science Supporting Certain Claims of Fracking Danger

Critics of hydraulic fracturing cite numerous supposed dangers of the process including groundwater pollution and increased incidence of cancer.  However, a handful of researchers are now disputing the science backing these claims. Fracking critics argue that the process leads to an increased risk of cancer, specifically breast cancer, for those living in nearby.  However, Avner Vengosh, a Duke University professor studying groundwater contamination, told the Associated Press that the claim is “basically not using science.”  Both Simon Craddock Lee, a professor of medical…

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Pennsylvania DEP Secretary Criticizes NRDC Fracking Report

On Monday, Michael Krancer, Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection, responded by letter to a May 2012 Natural Resources Defense Council report entitled In Fracking’s Wake.  Krancer criticized the report and defendedPennsylvania’s record with regard to wastewater recycling.  Krancer called the report “incorrect and inapplicable toPennsylvania” and noted that NRDC’s “math seems to be off” with respect to the report’s assertion that only 30 % of wastewater from fracking operations inPennsylvaniawas recycled.   The NRDC erred in making this calculation, wrote Krancer, by failing…

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New Jersey Legislature Passes Ban on Out-of-State Fracking Byproducts

The New Jersey State Senate voted 30-5 in favor of a bill prohibiting hydraulic fracturing byproducts from crossing its borders.  The bill (A575) specifically provides that no “wastewater resulting from hydraulic fracturing for the purpose of natural gas exploration or production in any state may be treated, discharged, disposed of, or stored in” New Jersey. New Jersey’s General Assembly passed the bill last week by a vote of 56 to 19.  It will now go before Governor Chris Christie for review and consideration. …

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OSHA/NIOSH Issue Joint Fracking Hazard Alert

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), reacting to recent field studies and sampling of fracking wells, issued a joint Hazard Alert which outlines potential risks to fracking workers associated with respirable crystalline silica, the portion of crystalline silica that is small enough to enter the gas-exchange regions of the lungs if inhaled.  Respirable crystalline silica, the alert states, has shown an association with lung disease called silicosis.
 
The NIOSH/OSHA alert relates to fracking workers…

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