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Shalefield Stories: Residents on the Frontlines of Fracking Tell Their Personal Stories
by Environment America
Thursday Jan 30th, 2014 7:14 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today Environment America Research & Policy Center joined residents living on the frontlines of fracking who recounted their stories of illness, water contamination, and damage to their livelihoods due to dirty drilling operations in a new booklet called Shalefield Stories. The new booklet was released today even as President Obama touted natural gas development in his State of the Union speech and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz asserted last week that the impacts of fracking are “challenging but manageable.”
“Behind the alarming numbers the outline fracking’s environmental impacts, there are real people whose lives have been gravely impacted by these polluting practices,” said John Rumpler, Senior Attorney for Environment America Research & Policy Center. “These are their stories, and we would be wise to heed their words of warning on fracking.”

Shalefield Stories was compiled by individual residents in Pennsylvania, who arranged for Environment America Research & Policy Center to release it across the country today. People recalling their experiences with fracking damage in the booklet include:

• Marilyn Hunt of Wetzel County, W.V., who found toxic chemicals in her water that migrated from a drilling site one mile from her home;

• Judy Armstrong Stiles of Bradford County, Pa., who tells of finding barium and arsenic in her drinking water, and then in her own blood, after Chesapeake began drilling on her land;

• William Sciscoe, Mayor of Dish, Texas, who explains how air quality tests near a compressor station found cancer-causing substances at 400 times the safe exposure level set by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;

• June Chappel of Washington County, Pa., who has lived with a 15 million gallon fracking waste pit just 200 feet from her house; and

• Jaime Frederick of Coitsville, Ohio, who discovered barium, strontium, toluene and other contaminants in her water after 25 drilling wells began operating within a mile of her home. She experienced several illnesses and says her property value has been reduced to “nothing.”

“This is what happens when you invite fracking into your community,” said Marilyn Hunt, of Wetzel County, West Virginia, who suffered air and water pollution and illness in the wake of nearby fracking operations. “Today, we are not alone in saying this dirty drilling has to stop.”

The people within the pages of Shalefield Stories are only a few of the many individuals and families directly impacted by fracking operations. In some cases, residents affected by fracking are no longer able to talk about their experiences because of gag orders contained in their legal settlements with the drilling operator. One tally called List of the Harmed shows more than 4,800 individuals adversely affected by oil and gas incidents.

One of the common themes running through Shalefield Stories is how people have become sick living on the frontlines of fracking. Those experiences are now being validated by health experts.

“The symptoms reported in Shalefield Stories, including rashes, nausea, respiratory issues, and stress, mirror very closely what our health care professions see in their examinations of residents and workers impacted by drilling operations here in southwestern Pennsylvania,” observed Jill Kriesky, associate director of the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project. “These stories are important in helping us to identify and address the steps needed to protect the health of individuals living near these sites.”

Environment America Research & Policy Center presented Shalefield Stories today, as Obama administration officials consider where and whether the fracking will be allowed in our national forests, near national parks or key drinking water sources for millions of Americans. This week, President Obama embraced an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy that prominently featured more gas drilling.

“For people like Judy Armstrong Stiles, who tells us ‘I have lost my home, my health, and my husband,’ the phrase ‘all of the above’ has entailed an all-consuming tragedy,” concluded Rumpler. “It’s time to stop fracking now.”

Read Shalefield Stories:
http://www.environmentamerica.org/sites/environment/files/reports/ShalefieldStoriesnp.pdf


Thursday, January 30, 2014
http://www.environmentamerica.org/news/ame/shalefield-stories

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Briget Shields
Friday Jan 31st, 2014 6:56 PM
Dear Publisher and readers,
Our book Shalefield Stories was compiled and is copyrighted to help us to raise money for the harmed victims here in PA. We are an all volunteer group of citizens who are tired of seeing these people abandoned by our government and the industry. Donations for the book are being used to provide water and other assistance needed.

I would appreciate you printing the fact that reproduction of this book is restricted useless written authorization from the publisher is granted. It is copyrighted. Our mission is to help other grassroots groups use it as a fundraising tool to educate the public on the harmful, negative effects gas extraction is having on people across the country.

People can order the book at $5 a copy + shipping or donate at The Thomas Merton center. The project is listed at the moment under Roots of Promise, soon to be Shalefield Stories. Thank you for your support. http://thomasmertoncenter.org/additional-projects/
Please specify Shalefield Stories when donating.

With respect,
Briget Shields