For Immediate Release: July 17, 2015
Sam Bernhardt, Food & Water Watch, (267) 428-1903, [email protected]
Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth, (610) 678-7726, [email protected]
Increased Hospitalization Rates in Fracked Counties Point to Urgent Need for Pennsylvania Moratorium
Pennsylvanians Against Fracking Calls on Governor to Halt New Permitting and Help Impacted Pennsylvanians
Harrisburg, PA: A new study that linked fracking to increased hospitalization rates in heavily fracked areas strengthens the case for an immediate statewide moratorium on fracking, says Pennsylvanians Against Fracking. This research from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University was published this week in PLOS ONE. Pennsylvanians Against Fracking urges Governor Wolf to stop accepting any new fracking permits, and that a moratorium against fracking in the state is one of the only things that can be done to protect the health and safety of Pennsylvanians who live near fracking operations.
The study found that hospitalizations related to cardiac and neurological conditions were significantly higher in areas closer to active wells, as well as hospitalizations for skin conditions, cancer and urologic issues. Cardiology inpatient rates increased 27% in the areas with the highest prevalence of wells.
This study comes on the heels of revelations that the Pennsylvania Department of Health has been negligent in its handling of fracking related health complaints. Complaints filed with the Department were met by a bureaucratic dead end and Pennsylvanians Against Fracking believes that this type of negligence and industry interference further demonstrates that fracking cannot be effectively regulated and a moratorium is necessary to get the facts straight.
“This study is further evidence that the health hazards of fracking are all too real,” said Food & Water Watch Pennsylvania Organizer, Sam Bernhardt. “Pennsylvanians are getting sick, all in the name of profit for the oil and gas industry. By issuing a moratorium on fracking in the state, Governor Wolf can stand on the side of his constituents instead of big energy corporations.”
“NY banned fracking because of the health impacts,” said Briget Shields, Founding Member of Marcellus Protest. “The more studies being done the more they are finding impacts to our health and environment. It’s time for leaders to start protecting the people who put them in office instead of promoting this toxic industry. Our children deserve a future that will ensure they have a healthy environment with plenty of clean air and water. PA can’t promise that future if we continue to allow the gas industry to harm us.”
“The University of Pennsylvania study just published that indicates greater hospitalization rates in two Pennsylvania shale field counties speaks to what PAF has stressed to the Governor when we met with him, as well as to the public: we do not know enough about the ramifications for the health of people exposed to unconventional gas drilling and related infrastructure in their communities,” said Marcellus Outreach Butler Organizer, Diane Sipe.
“Governor Wolf believes that fracking can be done safely, yet this paper is the latest contribution to the collection of the more than 550 peer-reviewed studies that say it can’t. Pennsylvanians can no longer wait for their leaders to catch up with the science. It is past time for a statewide moratorium on fracking,” said Karen Feridun, Founder of Berks Gas Truth.
“The fact that people in drilled areas are experiencing health problems is being verified more thoroughly as independent professional studies like the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University study are published. Those who are burdened with the ill effects and those in harm’s way need protection and the only way to accomplish that is through a statewide moratorium on fracking. We call on Governor Wolf to institute a moratorium to stop the human and environmental damage now,” said Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network.
Pennsylvanians Against Fracking is a statewide coalition of organizations, institutions, and businesses calling for a halt to fracking in the Commonwealth. Learn more about Pennsylvanians Against Fracking at paagainstfracking.org.