|Posted:||May 3, 2021 01:52 PM|
|From:||Senator Katie J. Muth|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Public Health Protection from Harms of Fracking|
|In the near future, I will introduce legislation that will require the Department of Health (DOH) to create a full public health response to the serious harms to human health caused by the fracking industry. The lack of legal and regulatory oversight of this industry has allowed it to contaminate water sources and pollute the air both inside and outside people’s homes. The families living near fracking wells have experienced traumatic health effects with children being the most seriously harmed. This legislation will require the DOH to treat the fallout from fracking like any other public health crisis as called for in the 2020 Attorney General Report.
As confirmed by the report, “fracking has been going on for over a decade in Pennsylvania [and] has potentially affected the short- and long-term health of tens of thousands of people.” Years of neglect and negligence on the part of government have left people feeling hopeless and ignored. Over the years the government has consistently sent the message that it values the industry over these affected communities. This legislation seeks to change that message by mandating that the DOH finally step up and support the people suffering from the impact of fracking.
This legislation will mandate that the Department of Health (DOH), in coordination with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), collect, analyze and maintain updated data on the impact of fracking on public health and make this data available and easily accessible to the public. In addition, DOH and DEP will be responsible to investigate all resident complaints related to fracking facilities. DOH will also coordinate with local health centers and develop public education resources and training on the impact of fracking for local health officials. To better facilitate data collection, the Department will ensure that affected communities are fully aware of, and have easy access to, lines of communication with the department.
Please join me in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.