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BUT AT WHAT COST? -To many, the pipelines are a li...

The first signs of change came to Belmont County several years ago, as natural gas extraction company trucks rumbled over the roads. Next came drilling rigs and pipelines for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. To many, the pipelines are a lifeline in impoverished Appalachia, bringing in jobs and money. Despite the economic boom, environmentalists and some residents are questioning the health and safety of...

‘Something’s wrong here’: Washington County parent...

Pediatrician: Plenty of other potentially harmful environmental hazards in the area Cindy Valent says her youngest son Curt had a smile “that would light up a room.” He loved sports like baseball and hockey — he aspired to have a job that paid well enough to afford Pittsburgh Penguins season tickets. But in his first year in college, Curt started complaining about a pain in his shoulder. A doctor told him it was probably...

Fracking in Ohio: State law gives energy companies...

Deciding what happens on private property might seem like a basic right. But when it comes to fracking, Ohio and other oil and gas-producing states have laws that can force landowners to lease their underground mineral rights to energy companies. That’s what happened to Patrick Hunkler and his wife, Jean Backs. It began in 2010, when a landman for an energy company knocked on their door. Hunkler didn’t know much about...

Pennsylvanians demand a fracking halt until rare c...

After a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette investigation identified 47 cases childhood cancer—most of them very rare—in several rural Pennsylvania counties, locals are calling on Governor Tom Wolf to investigate a possible link between fracking and childhood cancer. More than 100 organizations and 800 people have signed the letter requesting that all new shale gas permitting be suspended until the Department of Health can demonstrate...

Millions of abandoned wells spark climate, safety ...

A couple of years ago, Charlie Brethauer started to smell gas in the backyard of his home. Figuring it was a leak from the service line that heats his garage, he grabbed a shovel and started digging in a patch of blackened soil about 20 feet from the back door of his rural home in Richland Township, Pa., 15 miles north of Pittsburgh. The shovel struck a plastic bucket covering the end of a vertical steel pipe. As he widened...

Indigenous Peoples Go to Court to Save the Amazon ...

On Feb. 27, hundreds of Indigenous Waorani elders, youth and leaders arrived in the city of Puyo, Ecuador. They left their homes deep in the Amazon rainforest to peacefully march through the streets, hold banners, sing songs and, most importantly, submit documents to the provincial Judicial Council to launch a lawsuit seeking to stop the government from auctioning off their ancestral lands in the Pastaza region to oil...

Radioactive road deicer rules under review by Ohio...

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ohio Department of Transportation snowplows had been spreading AquaSalina, a deicing solution, on the state’s roadways for years when an environmental group last year obtained an unreleased Ohio Department of Natural Resources report that found high levels of radioactivity in the product. After the 2017 report became public, state government and company officials attempted to debunk it, criticizing the...

Is there an increased incidence of retroperitoneal...

Abstract Background: Retroperitoneal malignancies are a rare group of cancers with an annual incidence of 2.7 cases per 1 million. Due to their rare occurrence, the understanding of these malignancies is very poor. The prominent oil industry in West Texas is a potential source for both occupational and environmental exposures of chemical carcinogens. We suspect that chemical exposures in the local environment have led to an...

Serious questions about radioactive element in hig...

CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Environmentalists and some scientists are raising serious questions about a de-icer that Ohio’s road crews are spraying on our highways. The product is AquaSalina. Consumers probably haven’t heard of it because it’s not commercially available. But last winter alone, hundreds of thousands of gallons of this de-icer was sprayed on our highways. A state report found the de-icer contains radium, a...

Investigation: Clorox Selling Pool Salt Made From ...

You might be shocked to learn that a Clorox product used to treat swimming pools came from fracking wastewater. Public Herald has discovered that Eureka Resources, a company based in Pennsylvania, has been treating wastewater from shale gas development — a.k.a. “fracking” — and packaging the crystal byproduct as “Clorox Pool Salt” for distribution since 2017. The way it works is fracking wastewater gets trucked to Eureka...

New Ohio law would allow the sale of drilling brin...

A new Ohio House bill would allow the sale of commercialized brine produced during fracking and oil drilling for use on roadways — something Athens’ city officials plan to oppose. Ohio House Bill 393, introduced by Ohio State Representatives Anthony Devitis, R, and Michael J. O’Brien, D, would allow the “sale of brine as a commodity for surface applications.” That would mean that brine, a byproduct of oil and gas drilling,...

Don’t Frack So Close to Me: Colorado to Vote on Dr...

Coloradans will vote on a ballot initiative in November that requires new oil and gas projects to be set back at least 2,500 feet from occupied buildings. If approved, the measure—known as both Initiative 97 and Proposition 112—would mark a major change from their state’s current limits: 500 feet from homes and 1,000 feet from schools. As sociologists who have researched oil and gas drilling in the communities that...

Fracking Water Use Skyrockets, Creating 1,440 Perc...

The controversial gas and oil drilling method threatens to exacerbate a looming crisis over water. Fracking companies used 770 percent more water per well in 2016 than in 2011 across all the United States’ major gas- and oil-producing regions, according to a new study. The number of new fracking wells decreased as gas prices fell, but the amount of water used per well skyrocketed, with up to 1,440 percent more toxic...

The Military Drinking-Water Crisis the White House...

A new, previously suppressed report has grave implications for service members, veterans, and their families. The Trump administration feared it would be a “public relations nightmare”: a major federal study that concluded contaminated groundwater across the country, especially near military bases, was more toxic than the government realized. Political aides to President Donald Trump and Environmental Protection Agency head...

How the energy boom shaped a small town in rural A...

When a fracking company came to a small community in rural Pennsylvania, many people signed the lease that allowed the company to access the natural gas resources on their land. Among them was Stacey Haney, who at that time owned a small farm. Haney saw the lease as a way to support American energy, and like many other people, a way to get some extra money to support life. But money is not the only thing fracking brought to...