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counterpunch, 10 mars 2014

Corruption : How the Oil and Gas Industry is Poisoning the Air for Profit

par Dylan MURPHY and Jo MURPHY

Fracking in Pennsylvania

”Shortly after operations began, we started to experience extreme headaches, runny noses, sore/scratchy throats, muscle aches and a constant feeling of fatigue. Both of our children are experiencing nose bleeds and I’ve had dizziness, vomiting and vertigo to the point that I couldn’t stand and was taken to an emergency room. Our daughter has commented that she feels as though she has cement in her bones”.

Pam Judy 20 July 2011 - Carmichaels, Pennsylvania resident.


In 2006 Pam Judy and her family had a new home built on their farm. For three years Pam and her family enjoyed the peace and tranquillity of the countryside. However, in 2009 that all changed when a gas compressor station was built 780 feet from her home. Within a short space of time Pam and her family were unable to spend time outside any more as they came down with all sorts of mysterious health problems. In November 2010 Pam’s son went outside and came home with blisters in his mouth and had extreme difficulty swallowing which led to a visit to the nearby hospital. This led Pam to conduct research into emissions from compressor stations. She then contacted Calvin Tillman Mayor of Dish in Texas where many people had experienced similar health problems. Mayor Tillman provided Pam with a list of blood and urine tests to determine levels of chemical exposure. The results of the tests revealed measurable levels of benzene and phenol in her blood. Pam was determined to force the authorities to take action that would protect her family. In June 2010 she persuaded the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to carry out air quality tests over four days on her land. The results revealed the presence of 16 chemicals, including benzene, which are all known carcinogens. In November 2010 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection released a final report into air pollution in the area where Pam Judy and her family live. The report stated that the Department ”could find no emission levels that would constitute a concern to the health of residents living near Marcellus operations …”

Pam Judy stands in the yard of her home in southwest Pennsylvania

Sadly, the experience of Pam’s family is becoming all too familiar to ordinary people all over America who are being poisoned by the toxic chemicals being released by the fracking industry. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a damning report in February 2013 which admitted that there is no systematic air quality monitoring of the emissions from the fracking industry which emits,”large amounts of harmful pollutants that impact air quality on local, regional, and global levels”. The report further noted how the EPA underestimates chemical pollution from oil and gas wells and did not have a, ”comprehensive strategy for improving air emissions data for the oil and gas production sector …”



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    éditeur : Frank Brunner | ouverture : 11 novembre 2000 | reproduction autorisée en citant la source