Fracking endangers health and contaminates the Earth at every stage in its process. Many people are familiar with the harmful impacts of drilling natural gas wells, such as air and water pollution. A lesser known issue is the handling of fracking waste.
Fracking waste is a toxic combination of liquids and byproducts that are recovered after being injected into fractured wells. It often contains concentrated toxins, including metals, radioactivity, and organic chemicals, that are known to produce cancer and disrupt endocrine function in humans. It also must be transferred, processed, and recirculated by fracking companies, which are notoriously negligent in their practices.
The 10-year permits for wastewater storage and reuse, “WMGR123”, expired at the end of 2020. As part of the process for renewal, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) was supposed to facilitate a period for public participation and feedback. They did not. This deeply concerned the public, along with environmental and health advocacy groups, who rallied together and demanded the DEP reverse course last month. More information about this controversy can be found here.
Now, in the newly secured period for public input, Concerned Health Professionals of Pennsylvania (CHP-PA) has issued a statement from the healthcare provider perspective. CHP-PA is a group of doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals advocating for Pennsylvanians affected by fracking. The evidence is clear - no method of fracking, or phase in the fracking process, is safe for human health. CHP-PA has called on the PA DEP to reject all WMGR123 permit applications and renewals. The statement, along with a detailed explanation of the health concerns, can be found here.