If the public is going to have a robust debate about the merits of fracking, both sides need to know what’s being pumped into the ground. <Read more>.
This month, representatives of a group of first responders, health professionals and scientists questioned EPA’s decision to withhold the secret identities of 41 chemicals used for oil and natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing that the EPA’s own regulators identified as posing health risks. <Read more>.
By Maia Lehmann. The ever-tenacious Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveiled her Green New Deal (GND) on February 7th amidst great anticipation. The non-binding resolution, co-sponsored by Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, sought to provide the United States with a comprehensive vision to combat climate change using a holistic approach. Excitement was widely felt by those who have been waiting decades to see public health, climate change, and environmental justice seriously addressed by federal legislation. But, what did Ocasio-Cortez’s plan actually lay out? And what’s happening to it now?
The goal of the Green New Deal (GND) was to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions and 100% renewable power use by 2030. This objective was met by broad support from the American public, with 87.2% of citizens polled saying that they strongly agreed with the statement. Adapting the U.S. energy portfolio is an essential step, seeing as in 2017 petroleum, natural gas, and coal accounted for 77.6% of U.S. energy—a direct disconnect from what Americans say they want from their energy sector.
The 14-page GND begins with a preamble that describes the policy issues as seen by Ocasio-Cortez: one-part climate crisis, one-part economic crisis. The preamble is followed by five goals, 24 projects, and 15 requirements that intend to lay a framework for how to address these problems. Rather than laying out concrete steps however, the GND uses a broad brush to advocate for an energy efficient electrical grids, updating infrastructure, and overhauling the transportation sector. While critics say that it is ignoring the most integral questions, it is strategically opening a space for disagreement and discussion.
The GND faces plenty of hurdles, especially since it includes several social and economic oriented projects, such as, “Guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and disability leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.” Whether you agree with these issues or not, including them could make the reality of passing the bill even more difficult than climate legislation is already. And the difficulty of climate legislation is highlighted by the co-sponsorship of Senator Markey, who was a leader on the American Clean Energy and Security Act in 2009. The 2009 bill had a much narrower focus but still failed to pass even when both houses of Congress and the presidency was held by Democrats. However, rather than letting that cast a shadow upon the GND, perhaps it speaks to the need for radical changes to the status quo. In fact, 69.8% of Americans polled supported the intertwined social and environmental goals. And due to the inseparable nature of these policy issues it may be advantageous to craft a vision of how they could be developed in tandem. If previous incremental policy efforts have failed, and the opinions of the public are not being reflected by our lawmakers, then it is time to embrace an innovative comprehensive approach.
On March 26th the Senate voted the resolution down in a vote of 57-0, with the majority of Democrats voting “present” in protest to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell bringing the bill to the floor without hearings or debate. If anything, Senate Republican’s refusal to even discuss the most pressing issues of climate change demonstrate the necessity for dramatic policy change. The halt of the GND in the senate did not stall the zeal for the overall project of the GND. Representative Ocasio-Cortez is now refocusing her efforts by writing a series of small bills that will target both social and environmental issues in a more individualized method. The GND has successfully reinvigorated and rallied the efforts and public spirit for tackling the current climate crisis and provided a vision for what a sustainable and equitable America could look like. All of the Senate Democrats running for the presidency in 2020 have endorsed the GND, signaling that its vision will continue to permeate and inspire environmental legislation. This will not be the end of a green future that will support all of America.
By Sharon Franklin.
For nearly a decade, Michelle and Gary Erb lived on a rustic, 72-acre plot of land east of the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and then it became a construction site for a pipeline that can move 1.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day. The Erbs soon found out that Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company (Transco), a wholly owned subsidiary of the $8.6 billion energy-infrastructure titan Williams, demanded access to the their land to enable it to build the 200-mile Atlantic Sunrise pipeline that expands the nation’s largest natural-gas pipeline system to the Marcellus Shale. As reported by Nick Sibilla Senior Contributor Forbes Magazine https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicksibilla/2019/03/18/homeowners-take-fight-against-gas-pipeline-land-grab-to-u-s-supreme-court/#3e3e3a406fd5.
As with most eminent domain cases like the Erbs, Transco offered to pay for a six-acre easement. When they declined, Transco authorized eminent domain claim and forced the Erbs to hand over the property anyway. Now after having their land dug up, and more than a year and a half later, the Erbs still haven’t seen a dime for their land from Transco.
The Erbs say“The system as it stands right now is very unfair and very unethical; it is very un-American,” “Right now the gas line companies are just steamrolling over private landowners and taking whatever they want, whenever they want it and with no restrictions by the courts.” The Erbs have felt this judicial steamrolling up close and personal. Even though the The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that because Transco “already had the substantive right to possession,” due to its Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) certificate, which granted Transco preliminary injunction for immediate possession “merely hastened the enforcement of the substantive right—it did not create any new rights.” In other words, “the only question was ‘the timing of the possession.’”
The Erbs fought back with the assistance of the Institute for Justice, and countered in its cert petition, “An entitlement to possess land now is substantively different from an entitlement to possess land in the future.” In a standard eminent domain case, “the condemnor or Transco has the option to either purchase the property at the adjudicated price or move to dismiss the condemnation.” After all, Transco may decide to walk away from the property if they’re unwilling to pay the just compensation determined by the court, and the court’s injunction did actually alter the rights of the Erbs in a substantial way:
The Erbs and the Institute of Justice cited, that prior to the entry of the preliminary injunctions, petitioners had the right to exclude Transcontinental and its agents from their land. After the entry of the preliminary injunctions, the company had the right to exclude petitioners from the land. The right to exclude is, as [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][the Supreme Court] has held time and again, one of the most important substantive aspects of property ownership.”
Many Circuit Courts throughout the United states have conflicting ruling on this issue, and ultimately, only the Supreme Court can resolve this important question. Protecting private property rights shouldn’t be a pipe dream.
Gary Urb sums it up “Transco is taking advantage of a broken system with the lower courts rubber-stamping what the pipeline companies are doing. “Our fight is about more than just our property. It is a fight for everyone that can’t fight.”
CHEJ was involved in three of the United States field Tribunals in Athens and Youngstown, Ohio and in Charlottesville, VA. Lois Marie Gibbs served as a Juror in all three field Tribunals. These field hearings provided the basic information for the large Tribunal held in Oregon. This is an incredible victory which provides yet a new tool in the tool box for communities to fight back against Fracking.
The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal released its Advisory Opinion, recommending a worldwide ban on hydraulic fracturing, the extreme oil and gas extraction technique known as ‘fracking.’ The Tribunal found that the materials, and infrastructure of fracking inherently and necessarily violate human rights. The specific rights violated include the rights to life, to water, to full information and participation, and especially the rights of indigenous people, women and children. Governments have an affirmative obligation to protect the rights of their citizens, according to internationally recognized human-rights Covenants and Declarations. When governments fail to adequately regulate harmful oil and gas industry practices, they fail to meet their human rights obligations. And when governments fail to take measures to prevent the advance of climate change and its impacts on the rights to life, liberty, and security, they are failing to meet their internationally recognized human-rights obligations. Widespread government failures have created a global “axis of betrayal,” according to the international court, in which governments and fossil-fuel industries collude – at great cost to people and the planet – in human-rights violations to their mutual profit.
The Special Session was conducted for five days in May of 2018. Four Preliminary tribunals had been conducted in the months prior to the Plenary hearings. The Pre-tribunals included rich oral testimony from Australia, the US states of Ohio and Virginia, and other places, supporting documentation, and findings from those Pre-tribunal’s local judges. All materials and reports from those Pre-tribunal hearings, all the Plenary session’s oral testimony and arguments, all Plenary session reports, amicus curiae briefs and full documentation are available, in both video and text formats, on the website for the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal Session on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change. The full text of the Opinion is attached. It is also available on the website for the PPT Session on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change and on the Jurisprudence page of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal website at their headquarters in Rome.
Deep gratitude to all who have taken this long journey with us to get this opinion finalized, and contributed in big and small ways along the way! Now the work of getting these important findings out to the world begins….
Peace and Blessings,
Simona L. Perry, PhD
Cell 240 599 6655
Google Phone USA +1 912 289 1158
A new study published last week in the Journal of Environmental Protection provides new evidence that the gas extraction process of hydrofracturing, known as fracking, is harming the health of people who live near these wells. This study found that counties in Pennsylvania with higher numbers of fracking wells had higher rates of infant mortality.
The authors compared early infant mortality for the years 2007-2010 in ten Pennsylvania counties that were heavily fracked to the rates for the rest of the Pennsylvania (excluding the 10 heavily fracked counties) for the years 2003-2006 which was considered a pre-fracking period. The results showed a statistically significant 29% excess risk for newborn infants of dying during the first 28 days of life if they were born in the ten heavily fracked counties during the 4-year period following development of fracking gas wells in these counties. The early infant mortality rate for the rest of the state decreased by 2% during this same time-period. The association with infant mortality was even greater in the five northeast Pennsylvania counties of Susquehanna, Bradford, Wyoming, Lycoming and Tioga where the early infant mortality rate increased by 67%. These counties had the greatest number of fracking wells. The early infant mortality rate was increased by 18% in the five southwest Pennsylvania counties of Washington, Westmoreland, Greene, Butler and Fayette where fracking also occurred but at lesser rates.
According to the report, about 50 more babies died in these 10 counties than would have been predicted if the rate had been the same over the study period as it was for all of Pennsylvania, where the incidence rate fell over the same period. Although the study could not prove what might be causing these increases in infant mortality, the authors did observe an association between early infant mortality and the number of drinking water violations in private wells in the five northeast PA counties. This finding led the authors to state that the increase risk of early infant mortality might be related to exposure to drinking water which may be contaminated. They further noted that this contamination might be due to the release of naturally occurring radioactive material, including radium, thorium and uranium caused by underground explosions set off by the natural gas extraction process.
In closing, the authors described early infant mortality as “a flag for genetic damage, and thus represents a “miner’s canary” for other ill health effects in children and adults, particularly cancer, though there is a temporal lag in cancer between exposure and clinical expression.” While this study has its limitations, it still raises serious questions about the safety of the natural gas extraction process called fracking. To read the full study, see <http://file.scirp.org/pdf/JEP_2017042413181160.pdf>.
A federal court case brought by CHEJ and allies rules in our favor. The Judge directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to review and possibly update its regulations on oil and gas waste, in a decision that was welcomed by environmental groups who had sued the agency, claiming its rules have failed to keep pace with the fracking boom. This is a good start to the New Year. Let’s keep winning.
It doesn’t take too long to scroll through the CHEJ blog roll to find multiple examples of the negative health impacts of hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking. But, even if fracking could be done in a manner that did not pollute and negatively impact the lives of some of America’s most vulnerable citizens, there is another very important reason why fracking may not be the energy solution that many of our leaders believe it is.
First, let’s take a step back and quickly discuss a major reason why fracking has been a focal point in our energy strategy over the last decade, climate change. Because hydraulic fracturing allows energy producers to access natural gas sources, mostly made up of methane, natural gas has the capacity to mitigate climate change. This is due to the fact that, when burned as a fuel, natural gas produces about half as much carbon dioxide (CO2) as coal. This has led many, including Obama, to adopt the strategy of using natural gas as a “bridge fuel” to replace the most carbon-intense sources, such as coal, while renewable technology, such as wind and solar become cheap enough to use on a grand scale.
Even if we ignore the poor record of pollution and injustice associated with fracking, there is another huge hurdle in this “bridge fuel” plan. There is a significant portion of fracked natural gas that is not being burned as fuel and is being released directly into the atmosphere as methane, a greenhouse gas that is over 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. This methane is often leaked into the atmosphere during the extraction process. Even with a minimal leakage rate, there is the potential that methane emissions are offsetting the climate benefits of natural gas and using the fuel could actually be worse for the climate than coal. This is particularly troubling, as it would mean a total failure of America’s climate change mitigation strategy over the last eight years.
Currently, the EPA reports very small leakage rates that are based on industry data. With this data, fracking might still pass this very important test. The only problem is that multiple studies have been produced just in the last five years that report much higher leakage rates and spell disaster for our climate as a result. A recent study by Harvard researchers reports leakage rates much higher than EPA numbers, and a 30 percent increase in methane emissions from 2002-2014.
Considering this troubling data about methane emission, not to mention the public health impacts of fracking, maybe it is time to give up this bridge fuel plan and start utilizing renewables on a grand scale now. At the very least, let’s stop using the argument that fracking is good for climate change and have a more honest dialogue about our energy future.
Find out more about fracking’s methane problem.
The enormous growth of unconventional natural gas fracturing (also known as fracking) in recent years has come at the expense of knowing little if anything about the health risks associated with this practice. As production as slowed due to dropping gas prices in the past year or so, several studies have come out that raise serious questions about the health impact of this process. A study published earlier this month by a group of researchers at the John Hopkin’s School of Public Health concluded that “expectant mothers who live near active natural gas wells operated by the fracking industry in Pennsylvania are at an increased risk of giving birth prematurely and for having high risk pregnancies.” This paper was published in the journal Epidemiology.
In this paper, the authors examined more than 9,000 births in 40 counties in northern and central Pennsylvania between January 2009 and January 2013. They compared electronic birth outcome data with information that estimated the cumulative exposure to fracking activity in the region. This information included how close wells were to homes where the mothers lived, what stage of drilling the wells were in, the depth of the wells, and how much gas was generated from the well during the mother’s pregnancy. This information was used to generate a cumulative index of how active each of the wells were and how close they were to the women.
They found that living in the most active area of drilling and production activity was associated with a 40 percent increase in the likelihood of a woman giving birth before 37 weeks of gestation (considered pre-term) and a 30 percent increase in “high risk” pregnancies, a designation that can include elevated blood pressure and excessive weight gain during pregnancy. In total, 11 % of the pregnancies were born preterm, with 79% born between 32 and 36 weeks.
Other research in recent years has also shown a connection between fracking wells and low birth weight. “There are now four studies that have looked at various aspects of reproductive health in relation to this industry and all have found something,” Brian Schwartz, the lead author of the Hopkins study, said in an interview. In one of these studies, researchers found an increased risk of congenital heart and neural tube defects in babies whose mothers lived within 10 miles of a natural gas well in rural Colorado.
In a media statement released with the study, the authors made clear that the study can’t pinpoint the specific reason why pregnant women living near the most active wells had the worst pregnancy outcomes. But Schwartz pointed out that every step of the drilling process has an environmental impact. “When the well pads are created, diesel equipment is used to clear acres of land, transport equipment and drill the wells themselves. Drilling down thousands of feet and then horizontally many more thousands of feet requires heavy equipment to break up the shale where the gas sits. Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) then involves injecting millions of liters of water mixed with chemicals and sand to fracture the shale. The fluids are then pumped back to the surface. The gas itself also releases pollutants.” Schwartz also noted that living near fracking well results in increased noise, road traffic and other changes that can increase maternal stress levels.
“Now that we know this is happening we’d like to figure out why,” Schwartz says. “Is it air quality? Is it the stress? They’re the two leading candidates in our minds at this point.”
As with many other environmental and public health risks, the more we look, the more we find. We already know that fracking contributes to the impact of climate change because of the large amount of methane that’s released. It’s beginning to look more and more like it also has serious effects on the health of the people who live nearby.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 26, 2015
Groups File Notice of Intent to Sue EPA Over Dangerous Drilling and Fracking Waste
Call on Agency to Issue Rules for Handling and Disposal of Oil and Gas Waste
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 26, 2015) – A coalition of environmental organizations filed a legal notice with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today demanding regulations to stop oil and gas companies from dumping drilling and fracking waste in ways that threaten public health and the environment.
The groups filing today’s notice letter are the Environmental Integrity Project, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthworks, Responsible Drilling Alliance, San Juan Citizens Alliance, West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization, and the Center for Health, Environment and Justice. The groups are calling on EPA to comply with its long-overdue obligations to update waste disposal rules that should have been revised more than a quarter century ago.
“We’re asking that EPA finally do what it found to be necessary back in 1988: update the regulations for oil and gas wastes,” said Adam Kron, attorney at the Environmental Integrity Project. “The oil and gas industry has grown rapidly since then, and yet EPA has repeatedly shirked its duties for nearly three decades. The public deserves better protection than this.”
For example, EPA should institute stricter controls for underground injection wells, which accept two billion gallons of oil and gas wastewater every day and have been linked to numerous earthquakes in Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas. EPA should ban the practice of spreading fracking wastewater onto roads or fields, which allows toxic pollutants to run off and contaminate streams. And EPA should require landfills and ponds that receive drilling and fracking waste to be built with adequate liners and structural integrity to prevent spills and leaks into groundwater and streams.
“Oil and gas waste is extremely dangerous—yet the EPA admitted decades ago that federal rules are inadequate protect the public,” said Matthew McFeeley, attorney at NRDC. “The scary truth is that right now this waste—complete with carcinogens and radioactive material—is being dumped irresponsibly or disposed of like everyday household garbage. Toxic waste should not be sent to run-of-the-mill landfills, sprayed on our roads and fields, or stored in open air pits.”
The groups notified EPA that they will file a lawsuit in 60 days unless the agency complies with its duty under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to review and revise the federal regulations governing how oil and gas waste must be handled and disposed. RCRA requires that EPA review the regulations at least every three years and, if necessary, revise them. The agency determined that such revisions of the regulations were necessary to address specific concerns with oil and gas wastes more than 25 years ago, yet has failed to meet its legal responsibility to act.
Over the last decade, the oil and gas industry’s fracking-based boom has produced a vast amount of solid and liquid waste. Each well produces millions of gallons of wastewater and hundreds of tons of drill cuttings, which contain contaminants that pose serious risks to human health. These include known carcinogens such as benzene, toxic metals such as mercury, and radioactive materials. However, the current RCRA rules that govern oil and gas wastes are too weak because they are the same rules that apply to all “non-hazardous” wastes, including household trash.
As a result, oil and gas companies are handling, storing, and disposing of these wastes in a number of troublesome ways. These include: spraying fracking waste fluids onto roads and land near where people live and work; disposing of billions of gallons of oil and gas wastewater in underground injection wells; sending the drill cuttings and fracking sands to landfills not designed to handle toxic or radioactive materials; and storing and disposing of wastewater in pits and ponds, which often leak. Across the U.S., there are numerous instances of wastes leaking out of ponds and pits into nearby streams and the groundwater beneath, and operators often “close” the pits by simply burying the wastes on site.
Aaron Mintzes, Policy Advocate for Earthworks, said: “While it’s sadly common for states to fail to enforce their own oil and gas oversight laws, it is especially shameful that we should have to sue the Environmental Protection Agency, the only federal agency solely dedicated to protecting the environment and human health, to force EPA to fulfill its legal obligations to protect us from fracking pollution.”
The following are some examples of problems caused by the improper disposal and handling of fracking and drilling waste:
- Ohio: Underground injection wells in Ohio accepted 22 million barrels of oil and gas wastewater for disposal in 2014, nearly four times the amount in 2009. This has resulted in scores of earthquakes in the well-dense Youngstown area, with one well alone linked to 77 earthquakes. The Ohio Oil and Gas Commission recently noted that regulations “have not kept pace” with the problem, and that (to an extent) both the state and industry are “working with their eyes closed.”
- Pennsylvania: In May 2012, a six-million-gallon industrial pond holding fracking wastewater in Tioga County leaked pollutants, including arsenic and strontium, through holes in its liner into groundwater and a nearby trout stream.
- West Virginia: Oil and gas wastewater dumped or spilled in rivers in West Virginia and Pennsylvania contains high levels of potentially hazardous ammonium and iodide, according to a study by Duke University scientists.
- North Dakota: In January 2015, three million gallons of drilling wastewater spilled from a leaky pipe outside Williston, polluting a tributary of the Missouri River. In July 2011, a pipeline serving a well in Bottineau County leaked over two million gallons of fracking wastewater, damaging twenty-four acres of private land.
- Colorado: A contractor for a pipeline services firm gave a detailed account of sand-blasting pulverized waste buildup (called “scale”) from pipeline seals directly into the air outdoors without a filter, even though such dust can be radioactive and cause damage to lungs.
- Across the Marcellus region: Over the past several years, landfills in states around the Marcellus shale formation—even in New York, where fracking is prohibited—have experienced increasing shipments of drill cuttings that contain high levels of radiation. Many of the landfills do not test for radiation and do not have adequate controls to prevent the often toxic and radioactive “leachate” from seeping into groundwater.
EPA’s current regulations do not take into account the dangerous contents of oil and gas wastes or their unique handling and disposal practices. Since 1988, the agency has acknowledged the shortcoming of its basic rules for solid waste management and has indicated that it needs to create enhanced rules tailored to the oil and gas industry. However, the agency has yet to take any action to develop these updated regulations.
“Improper handling of drilling waste threatens the health and safety of 3.5 million Pennsylvania residents whose drinking water comes from private wells,” said Barbara Jarmoska, who serves on the Board of Directors of the Responsible Drilling Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Lycoming County, Pa. “It is past time for the EPA to put public and environmental health and safety first. EPA should revise existing regulations and specifically address issues relevant to the modern oil and gas industry.”
If EPA does not act within 60 days of today’s notice letter, the groups intend to ask a federal court to set strict deadlines for EPA to complete this long-needed update and strengthening of its regulations for oil and gas wastes.
“These are not your mom and pop wells of the 1980s, and their waste can no longer be ignored and listed as being non-hazardous,” said Teresa Mills, director of the Ohio field office for the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice. “For the agency to continue to classify millions of gallons/tons of hazardous material as non-toxic is mind-boggling. The free ride for the oil and gas industry must come to an end, now.”
Environmental Integrity Project: Tom Pelton, 202-888-2703 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Natural Resources Defense Council: Kate Kiely, 212-727-4592 or email@example.com
Earthworks: Alan Septoff, 202-887-1872 ×105 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATIONS:
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
The Environmental Integrity Project, based in Washington, D.C., is dedicated to advocating for more effective enforcement of environmental laws across the U.S. The organization provides objective analyses of how the failure to implement laws increases pollution, and it holds governments and corporations accountable to protect public health. Learn more at www.environmentalintegrity.org and follow us on Twitter @EIPOnline.
Earthworks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the adverse impacts of mineral and energy development while promoting sustainable solutions. Earthworks stands for clean air, water and land, healthy communities, and corporate accountability. Website: https://www.earthworksaction.org/
The Responsible Drilling Alliance is a registered 501(c)(3) education and advocacy coalition, based in Pennsylvania that seeks to educate members and the public about deep shale gas drilling and all of its ramifications. The alliance advocates for federal, state and local regulations needed to protect our economy, environment, health, safety and quality of life. Website: www.rdaPA.org
The West Virginia Surface Owners’ Rights Organization is a statewide membership organization representing over 900 members, almost all of who live or own land in the state’s oil and gas producing counties. One of the organizations primary purposes is to educate its members and the public regarding surface owners’ rights and the environmental and other impacts associated with oil and gas exploration and production. Website: www.wvsoro.org
The San Juan Citizens Alliance is a Colorado-based grassroots organization dedicated to social, economic and environmental justice. The alliance organizes San Juan Basin residents to protect the basin’s water and air, public lands, rural character, and unique quality of life while embracing the diversity of the region’s people, economy, and ecology. Website: http://sanjuancitizens.org/
The Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ) mentors a movement, empowering people to prevent harm to human health caused by exposure to environmental threats. Through training, coalition building and one-on-one technical and organizing assistance, CHEJ works to level the playing field so that people can have a say in the environmental policies and decisions that affect their health and well-being. Website: http://chej.org/