It is pretty bad when your doctor won't be able to put the name of an offending toxic chemical in the patient's record after they have been doused. What happens years later if a problem shows up related to the chemical exposure but nobody has a record of the chemical? Why does the patient not have a right to know what he was exposed to so that he or she could know if they need follow up medical surveillance.
Something is not right with a rule that disallows freedom of information regarding toxic chemical exposure . . . simply to enable a gas company to make more money and to hide toxic chemicals and subsequent damage caused by those chemicals . . . to shield oil and gas companies from lawsuits?
Medial studies show an increase in cancer within 0.5 miles of a fracking site. They also show an increase in congenital heart defects, neural tube defects, low birth weights, small for gestational age infants and reduced five-minute Apgars (a measure of health) in newborns in the areas around fracking site. There are also report on increase nosebleeds, headaches, fatigues, joint pains, and more etc. and because of inadequate studies . . . nobody knows the reason for these increased medical problems . . . never-the-less the problems occur.
Why our legislators and the MEC would urgently press for fracking before they even know what is causing the medical problems is beyond reason . . . except . . . if they go ahead an permit fracking, before medical studies are done, they can claim ignorance and not be liable for damages. The MEC even refuses to conduct a "Health Impact Assessment" as recommended by North Carolina's own study done in 2012 and some of the MEC persons attended the Summit but don't offer to follow the recommendations of their own study.
2012 Shale Gas Extraction Summit: Public Health ...
2012 Shale Gas Extraction Summit: Public Health Implications/Prevention. October 2-3, 2012. North Carolina Biotechnology Center (15 T.W. Alexander Drive, ...
A full moratorium should be called on fracking until the the causes of health risks associated with fracking are determined and rules made to eliminate the risk to citizens. If the MEC and legislator doggedly ignore citizen's protests and concerns . . . and if they enable fracking . . . who is going to inform our pregnant mothers of the increased risk of low birth weigh, small for gestational age and reduced Apgars within 1.5 miles of any gas production site. Based on these numbers, in Lee County, 37 evenly space fracking wells would put the entire county at increase risk for these birth outcomes. Some citizens just won't know or be able to move even if they want to move.
Senate Bill 76 in Session 2013, Session Law 2013 . . . page 8 & 9 mandates “The Mining and Energy Commission” to “establish a modern regulatory program for the management of oil and gas exploration and development” and the program shall be designed to protect public health and safety: protect public and private property” . . . “to conserve the State’s air, water”
Also SB 76 states
“It is the duty of the State Government to protect and preserve the State’s natural resources, cultural heritage, and quality of life and, above all, the public health and safety of its residents during the exploration, development, and product of domestic resources.”
Failing to even take into consideration the mandates of SB 76 to put public health "above all" . . . violates both the spirit and letter of SB 76 itself and should invalidate the recommendations of the MEC and legislators who would write new laws to enable fracking at the expense of the citizens of North Carolina without even considering the health issues.
William Blackley, MD
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