According to a story in the Huffington Post, a Pennsylvania company called Geisinger Health System has received a $1 million grant to study possible health impacts of natural gas drilling on the Marcellus Shale — a gas-rich underground rock formation that extends into Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia.
The grant, provided by the Degenstein Foundation, is meant to underwrite a “large-scale, scientifically rigorous assessment” of the drilling technique known as “hydraulic fracturing,” or “fracking,” in Marcellus Shale.
Fracking involves pumping millions of gallons of chemically treated water deep underground to break up subterranean rock formations and release natural gas.
It’s controversial because the water contains toxic chemicals including the carcinogen benzene, and environmental activists worry it may contain drinking water supplies.
According to the story, the study will include developing a health surveillance network aimed at assessing and reporting on the patient data gathered from electronic health records.
Although some of the study’s results could be available within the next year, other findings are expected in five years and over the next two decades, the story says.
Several other studies concerning the practice are ongoing, including one commissioned by state regulators in New York to help determine whether fracking will be allowed in that state. And a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study due to be completed in 2014 will look at the potential impact on drinking water.
Lopez McHugh is investigating injuries related to natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale natural gas reserve. If you have significant injuries, contact a Lopez McHugh attorney for a free evaluation.
See the story here: