Truthout is reporting that Pennsylvania residents living near a fracking rig have complained of headaches, nosebleeds, and other negative health effects for years. State agencies, though, have refused to release the results of air and water pollution tests, raising concerns. One family fears it will have to abandon the family farm it has owned for thirty years. Since the oil and gas facilities have moved close to them, they have experienced symptoms such as headaches and eye irritation. Residents have also experienced strong odors. In Washington County, Pennsylvania, a community care clinic had to be evacuated in May due to odors in the area. The incident was investigated but DEP officials refused to hand over the results of their testing at that site, despite calls for the reports from a state lawmaker.
As we have blogged in the past, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process where water, mixed with sand and chemicals, is injected into a well to break up the porous shale, and allow the natural gas to be caught. There are some oil and gas companies that insist this is the only way to collect natural gas. One problem with this procedure is that we do not know what chemicals are used in the process, and as the laws currently stand, companies can call the information about the chemicals used "proprietary" and not disclose them. There is a possibility that the chemicals could get into the water table, harming the water supply. This process is currently regulated by states, many under railroad legislation! Federal Legislatures are pushing to bring regulation of fracking under the EPA's Safe Drinking Water Act.
We have also previously blogged that a recent study on the effects of homeowner property values located near a shale gas well where fracking was occurring showed that property owners who use local groundwater for drinking lost up to 24% of their property value if they lived within a mile and a quarter of a shale gas well.
To find out if The Simon Law Firm can help with a landfill litigation case, or a hydraulic fracturing case, contact environmental lawyer Todd Hageman.