Modern Natural Gas Development and Harm to Health: The Need for Proactive Public Health Policies
ISRN Public Health
17 May 2013
Madelon L. Finkel PhD, Jake Hays MA, and Adam Law MD
The Shale Gas Boom and the Need for Rational Policy
American Journal of Public Health
16 May 2013
Madelon Finkel PhD, Jake Hays MA, and Adam Law MD
A commentary calling for precautionary policy measures in the absence of methodologically sound data on potential harms to the environment and human health from shale gas development.
Marcellus Shale Drilling's Impact on the Dairy Industry in Pennsylvania: A Descriptive Report
Madelon L. Finkel, Jane Selegean, Jake Hays, Nitin Kondamudi
Estimation of regional air-quality damages from Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania
Environmental Research Letters
31 January 2013
Aviva Litovitz, Aimee Curtright, Shmuel Abramzon, Nicholas Burger and Constantine Samaras
This study gives an estimate of the conventional air pollutant emissions (VOC, NOx PM2.5, PM10 and SOx) from shale gas development in Pennsylvania and the monetary value of the associated environmental and health damages. Region-wide damages were estimated between $7.2 to $32 million dollars for 2011. While emissions and damage estimates are relatively small compared to other major sources of air pollution in the state overall, they are a concern in regions of significant extraction activities, which tend to be concentrated in a few counties. In counties with concentrated activity NOx emissions from the shale gas industry were 20-40 times higher than allowable for a single minor source. The authors also note that the industry and regulatory agencies need to account for air emissions from ongoing, long-term activities and not only those associated with development since more than 80% of damages occur in the years after the well is developed. For instance, compressor station activities alone account for 60-75% of all extraction-associated damages. It is important to consider county-level damage given site-specific variability such as the concentration of shale gas activities, population, and areas where air quality is already a concern. The authors conclude that shale gas extraction will be associated with non-trivial air pollution emissions and that more detailed analyses (e.g. regional data acquisition and consideration of site-specific variabilit
Analysis of BTEX groundwater concentration from surface spills associated with hydraulic fracturing operations
Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association
14 Jan 2013
Gross SA, Avens HJ , Banducci AM, Sahmel J, Panko JM, Tvermoes BE
Concerns have arisen among the public regarding the potential for drinking water contamination from the migration of methane gas and hazardous chemicals associated with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. However, little attention has been paid to the potential for groundwater contamination resulting from surface spills from storage and production facilities at active well sites
Human health risk assessment of air emissions from development of unconventional natural gas resources
Science of the Total Environment
21 Mar 2012 [Epub ahead of print]
Lisa M. McKenzie, Roxana Z. Witter, Lee S. Newman, John L. Adgate
This study estimated health risks for exposures to air emissions from a NGD project in Garfield County, Colorado with the objective of supporting risk prevention recommendations in a health impact assessment (HIA).
Hydrocarbon emissions characterization in the Colorado Front Range: A pilot study
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
21 Feb 2012
Gabrielle Pétron, Gregory Frost, Benjamin R. Miller, Adam I. Hirsch,
Stephen A. Montzka, Anna Karion, Michael Trainer, Colm Sweeney,
Arlyn E. Andrews, Lloyd Miller, Jonathan Kofler, Amnon Bar-Ilan,
Ed J. Dlugokencky, Laura Patrick, Charles T. Moore Jr., T
The multispecies analysis of daily air samples collected at the NOAA Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) in Weld County in northeastern Colorado since 2007 shows highly correlated alkane enhancements caused by a regionally distributed mix of sources in the Denver-Julesburg Basin. To further characterize the emissions of methane and non-methane hydrocarbons (propane, n-butane, i-pentane, n-pentane and benzene) around BAO, a pilot study involving automobile-based surveys was carried out during the summer of 2008.
Impacts of Gas Drilling on Human and Animal Health
Bamberger M, Oswald RE
This study involved interviews with animal owners who live near gas drilling operations. The findings illustrate which aspects of the drilling process may lead to health problems and suggest modifications that would lessen but not eliminate impacts.
Missing from the Table: Role of the Environmental Public Health Community in Governmental Advisory Commissions Related to Marcellus Shale Drilling
Environmental Health Perspectives
10 Jan 2012 [online pre-print]
Bernard D. Goldstein, Jill Kriesky, Barbara Pavliakova
This study looks at the public health concerns related to drilling in the Marcellus Shale and concludes that neither state nor national advisory committees selected to respond to these concerns contain recognizable environmental public health expertise.
Water pollution risk associated with natural gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale
Risk Analysis: An International Journal
28 December 2011 (ePub; printed August 2012)
Rozell DJ, Reaven SJ.
Using probability bounds analysis, this study assessed the likelihood of water contamination from natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale. Probability bounds analysis is well suited when data are sparse and parameters highly uncertain. The study model identified five pathways of water contamination: transportation spills, well casing leaks, leaks through fractured rock, drilling site discharge, and wastewater disposal. Probability boxes were generated for each pathway. The potential contamination risk and epistemic uncertainty associated with hydraulic fracturing wastewater disposal was several orders of magnitude larger than the other pathways.