Dangerous and Close: Fracking Near Pennsylvania’s Most Vulnerable Residents

Penn Environment | Frontier Group / by Elizabeth Ridlington, et al.

[Pittsburgh City Paper] A new report released this week warns that fracking is creeping closer to “vulnerable populations,” including school-aged children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.

The PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center announced its report “Dangerous and Close,” which draws attention to the proximity of hydraulic-fracturing operations, or fracking, to certain types of facilities in Pennsylvania, including schools, day cares and nursing homes. The report has prompted five health and environmental groups to form a coalition and demand better policies from elected officials…

According to the report, there are 166 schools, 165 child-care facilities, 21 nursing homes and six hospitals within one mile of a permitted fracking well site — that’s 53,000 children under age 10 and 41,000 seniors 75 and older living within that distance, the report says. It cites Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection numbers indicating that more than 9,000 unconventional wells — where fracking is the means of extraction — have been drilled and thousands more permits have been issued. The report also says that industry predicts that approximately 60,000 wells total will be drilled in Pennsylvania by 2030…


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