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Ohio Utica Shale

New health study in under way in southwest Pennsylvania

By Bob Downing Published: March 4, 2012

The Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project has opened in Washington County.

The effort  is in response to growing concern over potential health impacts from drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale.

The project is funded by the Pittsburgh-based Heinz Endowments, the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Claneil Foundation.

The office will help area residents recognize and understand exposure pathways in the air and water, reported Don Hopey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

It will work with residents to then schedule medical exams and evaluations to diagnose health problems that may result from such exposures, said Raine Rippel, the project director.

An on-site nurse practitioner is available for home visits, exams and consultations.

Washington County has about 700 Marcellus wells, more than any other county in southwest Pennsyvania. It also has at least a dozen compressor stations.

Impacts include stomach aches, headaches, nosebleeds and cognitive difficulties as well as stress-related disorders, said Dr. Leslie Walleigh, a physician and a project consultant.

The project is reportedly the first program of its kind to study health impacts from shale drilling.

 

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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.