Medical Society of the State of New York passed a Resolution on Radon

The Medical Society of the State of New York passed a Resolution on Radon at their state-wide annual meeting yesterday, April 12, 2014 in Tarrytown, NY. It reads:

RESOLVED, That the Medical Society of the State of New York support policy that limits exposure to radon and its decay products which are known to cause primary lung cancer in non-smokers and to potentiate the likelihood of lung cancer in smokers; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Medical Society of the State of New York support legislation the protects the public health by ensuring that New York State is committed to reducing sources of excess radon emission, and monitoring radon gas exposure levels to confirm that these radon gas levels do not exceed the recommended levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

In the past MSSNY has endorsed resolutions calling for moratoriums on gas drilling in tight shale deposits. This year the concern shifted to the radioactive elements found the gas itself. While the concern over radon is much broader then a concern over gas drilling, the physicians clearly had the radioactivity associated with gas drilling in tight sale deposits in mind when they passed their resolution. Some of the statements leading to the resolution proper make mention of the radon “inextricably linked” with the methane from the tight shale deposits, especially in the northeast. Others pointed to the potential exposure through the delivery systems, the decay products, and the shorter transit times.

Some examples:

WHEREAS, there is no safe exposure level of radon for public health protection

WHEREAS, Radon, which originates naturally in bedrock and shale, is inextricably combined with other natural gases sequestered in these subterranean reserves, and is therefore extracted in combination with natural gas

WHEREAS, due to geographic proximity of New York State to the Marcellus Shale region, there is significantly shorter transit time through local regional pipeline networks transporting radon-laced natural gas to NYS natural gas consumers thus resulting in the delivery of natural gas containing much higher concentrations of radon

As the threat of actual gas drilling subsides in the State, the public heath threats associated with the growing gas drilling infrastructure are now on the organization’s radar. Stay tuned.



Chris W. Burger

110 Walters Road

Whitney Point, NY 13862

(607) 692-3442

AIR POLLUTION: Oil and gas boom, budget woes strain EPA’s monitoring network — Monday, March 31, 2014 —

AIR POLLUTION: Oil and gas boom, budget woes strain EPA’s monitoring network — Monday, March 31, 2014 —

Fracking The Eagle Ford Shale: Big Oil And Bad Air On The Texas Prairie


Fracking The Eagle Ford Shale: Big Oil And Bad Air On The Texas Prairie from Weather Films on Vimeo.

from Weather Films on Vimeo.

Gripping Report and Film Reveal How Fracking Boom Destroys Texans’ Lives

Brandon Baker | February 18, 2014 11:29 am | Comments
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Shelby Buehring was born in South Texas and bought a home there in 1995, but he has grown to hate the area.

That’s because the area’s fracking boom caused his wife, Lynn, to depend on an inhaler to help her breathe properly amid an atmosphere rife with thick black smoke, strong stenches and other environmental effects from fracking near their Karnes County home.

The Buehrings are two of several people the Center for Public Integrity, InsideClimate News and The Weather Channel spoke to as part of a most-gripping report and short film package released Tuesday that exposes the impact of fracking as well as any on record.

“There’s nothing we can do,” Shelby Buehring said of living near the Eagle Ford Shale play. “Nobody is listening to us.

“They’re not going to stop, so we have to live with it or leave … This is my home, and I hate it here.” #Vimeo #fracking

The Eagle Ford Shale play is a 400-mile-long, 50-mile-wide fracking site that extends from Leon County, in northeast Texas, to the southwestern Mexican border. As impactful as the report and short film’s interviews are, the lack of oversight and care for the residents is downright appalling. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which regulates most air emissions, has fined just two companies in the oil and gas industry from Jan. 1, 2010 to Nov. 19, 2013, despite 164 documented violations.

There were 284 complaints filed during that time, but they clearly fell on deaf ears.

“I believe if you’re anti-oil and gas, you’re anti-Texas,” state Rep. Harvey Hilderbran, a Republican from Central Texas, said during a panel discussion in September, according to the three reporting agencies.

Those who have studied the fracking boom there aren’t surprised by its unfortunate effects.

“Energy wins practically every time,” Robert Forbis Jr., an assistant professor of political science at Texas Tech University, said in the report. “It seems cynical to say that, but that’s how states see it—promote economic development and minimize risk factors.”

The report and film made waves across the country Tuesday for its revealing reporting.

“The 8-month ‘Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale’ investigation by Pulitzer Prize winning journalists reveals that fracking is literally poisoning the air children and families breathe,” said John Armstrong of Frack Action and New Yorkers Against Fracking. “Polluted with toxic chemicals like hydrogen sulfide and benzene, air poisoned by fracking is entering homes, daycare centers and schools throughout entire regions.

“This investigation and the hundreds of complaints build on an already significant body of science showing that fracking inherently poisons the air and threatens people’s health.”

Other shocking findings about the Eagle Ford Shale area and Texas, discovered by Inside Climate News, the Center for Public Integrity and The Weather Channel, include:

Thousands of oil and gas facilities, including six of the nine production sites near the Buehrings’ house, are allowed to self-audit their emissions without reporting them to the TCEQ.
There are only five permanent air monitors installed in the 20,000-square-mile region of Eagle Ford.
Since 2009, there has been a 100-percent statewide increase in unplanned toxic air releases associated with oil and gas production. They are known as emission events and typically caused by human errors or faulty equipment.
The Texas legislature has cut the TCEQ’s budget by one-third since the Eagle Ford boom began—from $555 million in 2008 to $372 million in 2014. The state also cut funding for air monitoring equipment by $621,000 during the same period.
“I can control what my kids eat, I can control what goes on their skin, but I can’t control the air that’s coming across from the neighbors,” said Amber Lyssy, an area farmer who was also interviewed.

Another resident interviewed by the entities, Cynthia Dupnik, decided to keep a daily log of what she and her family smells near their home. She said it was important to take note because new symptoms and side effects continually arise as the oil boom continues on. Nose bleeds and sores were among the effects her family experienced.

“There’s something wrong about that picture, especially when we didn’t have it before,” she said.

The report points out that while states are responsible for enforcing the federal Clean Air Act, they are also largely responsible for regulating fracking on their grounds.

The reporters said the TCEQ refused telephone interview requests for eight months. A representative finally responded with an email stating that the air pollutants in the Eagle Shale Ford area have not been a concern “from a long-term or short-term perspective.”

The interviewed residents told a much different story.

“The chemicals in the air, we can’t get away from them because we live here,” Lyssy said.

“We’re here 24/7. We don’t have another home to go to.”

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.


Raising health and air quality concerns in Texas’ fracking frontier

Raising health and air quality concerns in Texas’ fracking frontier.

Key gas drilling health study collecting Pa. data – SFGate

Key gas drilling health study collecting Pa. data – SFGate.

Environmental Outlook: Dan Fagin: “Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation” (Rebroadcast) | The Diane Rehm Show from WAMU and NPR

Environmental Outlook: Dan Fagin: “Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation” (Rebroadcast) | The Diane Rehm Show from WAMU and NPR.

Lessons for shale gas extraction, waste treatment.

Book Description

Release date: March 19, 2013 | ISBN-10: 055380653X | ISBN-13: 978-0553806533 | Edition: 1St Edition
“A thrilling journey through the twists and turns of cancer epidemiology, Toms River is essential reading for our times. Dan Fagin handles topics of great complexity with the dexterity of a scholar, the honesty of a journalist, and the dramatic skill of a novelist.”—Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

The riveting true story of a small town ravaged by industrial pollution, Toms River melds hard-hitting investigative reporting, a fascinating scientific detective story, and an unforgettable cast of characters into a sweeping narrative in the tradition of A Civil Action, The Emperor of All Maladies, and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

One of New Jersey’s seemingly innumerable quiet seaside towns, Toms River became the unlikely setting for a decades-long drama that culminated in 2001 with one of the largest legal settlements in the annals of toxic dumping. A town that would rather have been known for its Little League World Series champions ended up making history for an entirely different reason: a notorious cluster of childhood cancers scientifically linked to local air and water pollution. For years, large chemical companies had been using Toms River as their private dumping ground, burying tens of thousands of leaky drums in open pits and discharging billions of gallons of acid-laced wastewater into the town’s namesake river.

In an astonishing feat of investigative reporting, prize-winning journalist Dan Fagin recounts the sixty-year saga of rampant pollution and inadequate oversight that made Toms River a cautionary example for fast-growing industrial towns from South Jersey to South China. He tells the stories of the pioneering scientists and physicians who first identified pollutants as a cause of cancer, and brings to life the everyday heroes in Toms River who struggled for justice: a young boy whose cherubic smile belied the fast-growing tumors that had decimated his body from birth; a nurse who fought to bring the alarming incidence of childhood cancers to the attention of authorities who didn’t want to listen; and a mother whose love for her stricken child transformed her into a tenacious advocate for change.

A gripping human drama rooted in a centuries-old scientific quest, Toms River is a tale of dumpers at midnight and deceptions in broad daylight, of corporate avarice and government neglect, and of a few brave individuals who refused to keep silent until the truth was exposed.

Praise for Toms River

“It’s high time a book did for epidemiology what Jon Krakauer’s best-selling Into Thin Air did for mountain climbing: transform a long sequence of painfully plodding steps and missteps into a narrative of such irresistible momentum that the reader not only understands what propels enthusiasts forward, but begins to strain forward as well, racing through the pages to get to the heady views at the end. And such is the power of Dan Fagin’s Toms River, surely a new classic of science reporting . . . a sober story of probability and compromise, laid out with the care and precision that characterizes both good science and great journalism.”—The New York Times

“Immaculate research . . . unstoppable reading . . . Fagin’s book may not endear him to Toms River’s real estate agents, but its exhaustive reporting and honest look at the cause, obstacles, and unraveling of a cancerous trail should be required environmental reading.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Absorbing and thoughtful.”—USA Today


Fracking panel member wants stronger NY health review – Politics on the Hudson

Fracking panel member wants stronger NY health review – Politics on the Hudson.

 – Navigation Home 

Key Assembly Member On Fracking Panel Calls For Health Study Do-Over | WXXI News

Key Assembly Member On Fracking Panel Calls For Health Study Do-Over | WXXI News.

The Social Costs of Fracking | Food & Water Watch

The Social Costs of Fracking | Food & Water Watch.

September 24th, 2013

The Social Costs of Fracking

Pennsylvania’s natural gas boom has brought thousands of new gas wells, a number of transient workers and a host of social problems. Food & Water Watch found that traffic accidents, civic disturbances and public health problems in rural Pennsylvania counties have increased since the shale rush began in 2005, diminishing the quality of life for residents of once-bucolic costs of fracking cover



Economic downturns like the Great Recession are often associated with negative outcomes, but these social and public health costs increased more in rural counties with the new shale gas wells than in rural counties without shale gas drilling. These negative social impacts were especially pronounced in the counties with the highest density of shale gas wells.

The oil and gas industry has surged over the past decade by employing new techniques and technologies that combine horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) to extract gas from shale and other underground rock formations. Fracking injects large quantities of water, sand and toxic chemicals under high pressure to release gas tightly held in rock layers. Fracking has expanded rapidly in areas across the country, but Pennsylvania has been at the epicenter of the nation’s fracking boom, with nearly 5,000 shale gas wells drilled between 2005 and 2011.

The fracking boom has brought heavy trucks crowding rural roads and out-of-state workers flooding small towns, often overwhelming local housing, police and public health capacities. The influx of transient workers with disposable income and little to do in their off hours is a recipe for trouble in small-town America, where alcohol-related crimes, traffic accidents, emergency room visits and sexually transmitted infection have all been on the rise.

Much of the national discussion about fracking has focused on the obvious environmental risks, while the social costs of fracking have been largely ignored. This study is the first detailed, long-term analysis of the social costs of fracking borne by rural Pennsylvania communities.

EARTHWORKS | Reckless Endangerment While Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale| Reckless Endangerment in the Eagle Ford Shale

EARTHWORKS | Reckless Endangerment While Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale| Reckless Endangerment in the Eagle Ford Shale.

Home » Library » Reckless Endangerment While Fracking the Eagle Ford ShaleReckless Endangerment in the Eagle Ford Shale

Reckless Endangerment While Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale

Reckless Endangerment While Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale
Government fails, public health suffers and industry profits from the shale oil boom

Published: September 19, 2013

By: Sharon Wilson, Lisa Sumi, Wilma Subra

Download this publication

From the report SUMMARY (7 pages)

In an unprecedented investigation of oil and gas operations and government oversight in Texas’s Eagle Ford Shale, Earthworks reports a toxic mix of irresponsible industry operators and negligent regulators, and the families who suffer the consequences. Specifically, Reckless Endangerment while Fracking the Eagle Ford, reveals:

  1. Residents requested state regulators provide relief from oil and gas air pollution;
  2. Regulators discovered pollution so dangerous they evacuated themselves;
  3. Regulators took no subsequent action to warn or otherwise protect the residents at risk;
  4. Regulators took no subsequent action to penalize the responsible company;
  5. Residents continue to live with exposure to dangerous oil and gas air pollution.

Oil and gas operations in shale formations release chemicals to air, water, and soil that are hazardous to human health.

Government shares the blame for these releases because rules governing oil and gas development don’t protect the public. Adding insult to injury, state regulators don’t reliably enforce these rules. By failing to deter reckless operator behavior, regulators practically condone it, thereby increasing health risks for residents living near oil and gas development.

Report materials:


NOTE: Apart from the Cerny’s interview, the following videos show emissions that are invisible to the naked eye. One otherwise wouldn’t suspect that the tanks and other infrastructure could be a threat to public health, but using a special FLIR GasFind infrared camera you can see the highly active volatile chemicals — like benzene — escaping into the air and crossing the fenceline. The camera does not quantify, nor does the camera speciate the compounds that are detected.

The Cernys tell their story

- See more at:


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