From ProPublica Communications today:
In Fracking Fight, How to Measure Health Threats?
The more than 6,000 active gas wells in Pennsylvania generate scores of complaints each week, many about terrible odors and contaminated water, ProPublica's Naveena Sadasivam reports today.
How the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection handles those complaints has worsened the already raw and angry divide between fearful residents and the state regulators charged with overseeing the burgeoning gas drilling industry.
For instance, what does the agency's own manual for dealing with complaints tell workers to do if someone reports concerns about a noxious odor, but is not at that very moment experiencing the smell? "DO NOT REGISTER THE COMPLAINT."
What's more, even if there is a real-time alarm about the air quality in or around a home, the agency typically has two weeks to conduct an investigation. If no odor is detected when investigators arrive on the scene, the case is closed.
Highlights from Sadasivam's report:
See the full story here: http://www.propublica.org/article/in-fracking-fight-a-worry-about-how-best-to-measure-health-threats; it is free to link to or republish under our Creative Commons license.
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.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
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.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.