Environment America | January 31, 2014 8:58 am |
Environment America Research & Policy Center joined residents living on the frontlines of fracking who recounted their stories of illness, water contamination and damage to their livelihoods due to dirty drilling operations in a new booklet, Shalefield Stories.
Photo credit: Kelly Finan /Environment America
“Behind the alarming numbers that outline fracking’s environmental impacts, there are real people whose lives have been gravely impacted by these polluting practices,” said John Rumpler, senior attorney for Environment America Research & Policy Center. “These are their stories, and we would be wise to heed their words of warning on fracking.”
Shalefield Stories was compiled by individual residents in Pennsylvania, who arranged for Environment America Research & Policy Center to release it across the country yesterday. People recalling their experiences with fracking damage in the booklet include:
- Marilyn Hunt of Wetzel County, WV, who found toxic chemicals in her water that migrated from a drilling site one mile from her home.
- Judy Armstrong Stiles of Bradford County, PA, who tells of finding barium and arsenic in her drinking water, and then in her own blood, after Chesapeake began drilling on her land.
- William Sciscoe, Mayor of Dish, TX, who explains how air quality tests near a compressor station found cancer-causing substances at 400 times the safe exposure level set by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- June Chappel of Washington County, PA, who has lived with a 15 million gallon fracking waste pit just 200 feet from her house.
- Jaime Frederick of Coitsville, OH, who discovered barium, strontium, toluene and other contaminants in her water after 25 drilling wells began operating within a mile of her home. She experienced several illnesses and says her property value has been reduced to “nothing.”
“This is what happens when you invite fracking into your community,” said Hunt, who suffered air and water pollution and illness in the wake of nearby fracking operations. “Today, we are not alone in saying this dirty drilling has to stop.”
The people within the pages of Shalefield Stories are only a few of the many individuals and families directly impacted by fracking operations. In some cases, residents affected by fracking are no longer able to talk about their experiences because of gag orders contained in their legal settlements with the drilling operator. One tally called List of the Harmed shows more than 4,800 individuals adversely affected by oil and gas incidents.
The List of the Harmed is available at http://pennsylvaniaallianceforcleanwaterandair.wordpress.com/the-list/