PROTECTING ACCESS TO ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION

RTKnet: Drinking Water

Chemicals in Rivers Linked to Sexual Changes in Fish (The Canadian Press)

University of Calgary professors have found that hormone-altering chemicals in rivers, such as synthetic estrogens and agricultural by-products, are changing the sexes of a small species of minnow. One of the researchers asserted "I think we need to look at this a little more carefully and ask, what is the message the fish are telling us. If the fish are showing bent genders and people are drinking the same water . . . we need to try to evaluate that risk.”

(30 Jul 2010)

Hydraulic Fracturing Fight Hijacks Spill Bill (Politico)

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) added language to the "spill bill" requiring natural gas drillers to disclose the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing. Gas producers have said that disclosing the identities of chemicals that threaten the safety of drinking water is "akin to companies like Coca-Cola being forced to reveal their recipes." Sen. Reid rebutted, "we have more natural gas than any country in the world. Is there anything wrong with taking a look at how that’s extracted? I guess if you’re looking for an excuse to say no, there is."

(29 Jul 2010)

Proposed Oil Spill Bill Requires More Disclosure from Frackers (News Inferno)

A new bill, HR3534, which recently passed in the House Natural Resources Committee, would require drilling companies engaged in hydraulic fracturing on federal lands to disclose the chemicals they are using. While the legislation requires drillers to disclose "the chemical constituents of mixtures, Chemical Abstracts Service numbers, and material  safety data sheets," they are not required to publicly disclose "proprietary chemical formulas," falling short of what environmentalists want.

(20 Jul 2010)

Drilling Company Lists Hazardous Chemicals Used in Hydraulic Fracturing (Pro Publica)

Range Resources plans to disclose the hazardous chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania wells on their website. Earthjustice asserts that although this list will help specialists determine whether drilling is polluting drinking water, "It does not by any stretch of the imagination cover what most people would consider to be hazardous."

(15 Jul 2010)

TAKE ACTION - Tell Your Representatives To Support the FRAC Act (Food & Water Watch)

Companies that are threatening our drinking water with hydraulic fracturing can't be held accountable under the Safe Drinking Water Act, and they don't have to disclose the 596 chemicals that they are injecting into the ground. Ask your representative to close the loophole and require companies to disclose the chemicals they are using by passing the FRAC Act.

(15 Jul 2010)

Anger Surfaces at EPA Gas Shale Meeting (The Texas Tribune)

Fort Worth, Texas residents showed their anger and fear about the impact of hydraulic fracturing on groundwater at a public meeting convened by the EPA. While the oil and gas industry states that "fracking" occurs far below the water table, citizens are concerned about water pollution. After revealing that local tap water tested positive for lead, arsenic, and other chemicals, Dish, Texas mayor Tillman demanded that the EPA not "let politicians cloud [their] decision." Additional public meetings are scheduled throughout the summer.

(09 Jul 2010)

EPA Relies on Industry-Backed Studies to Determine Safety of Weed Killer (The Huffington Post)

The EPA is publishing studies of the health effects of the pesticide Atrazine in drinking water that have been funded by companies with financial interest in the weed-killer. Many of these studies, which allege that the pesticide has minimal health risks, have not been scrutinized by independent scientists.

(09 Jul 2010)

Potentially Harmful Chemicals Used in Pennsylvania Drilling (New York Times)

Chemicals being used to drill natural gas wells in Pennsylvania are linked to neurological problems, cancer, and other health problems. Using data from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Associated Press hopes to release a full list of gas drilling chemicals used in Pennsylvania online. Environmental advocates are concerned that these chemicals are polluting their drinking water and harming their health.

(29 Jun 2010)

As Cleanup Nears, Neighbors of Price's Pit Superfund Site Still Worry About Long-Term Health Effects (Atlantic-City Pleasantville Brigantine)

Nearly thirty years after describing a New Jersey landfill as "the most serious environmental problem in the United States," the EPA plans to begin cleanup of the Superfund site in August. For years, local residents uknowingly consumed contaminated water and are now concerned about the link between the polluted groundwater and their health problems.

(08 Jun 2010)

World-Renowned Scientist Discusses Health Risks of Fracking (Democracy Now!)

The founder of The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, Dr. Theo Colborn, speaks about health concerns of natural gas drilling:

(15 Apr 2010)