Bethany’s fracking problem
One of my readers from Bethany, West Virginia made me aware of the problems that small college town 17 miles north of Wheeling is having with the noise from local fracking. Not surprisingly, it has received no coverage from our local Wheeling TV station or the Wheeling “newspapers.” Last week, WTOV in Steubenville, Ohio covered the meeting between the well pad’s owner, Southwestern Energy, and local residents.
From WTOV's report:
While the room packed with citizens presented many concerns and questions, one reoccurring theme was the noise that the community members call unbearable to live with.
"I kept thinking to myself, 'Is this anything close to freeway noise I had to deal with in LA?' And, I’m here to tell you there is no comparison. This is worse than anything I’ve experienced,” said another community member.
And the impact it is having on their physical and mental health: “The first days we were doing outside activities and I couldn’t hear them because of the drill, and I am like; when are they all going to all start going crazy?”
(Note -- I could not get the video to load on this site. You can see the video on the link.)
Bethany resident and blogger, John Cole, has also documented the noise here.
An excellent series on fracking and health in Southwestern Pennsylvania
The same reader also passed along the first two Pittsburgh Post-Gazette installments of an excellent series on fracking's health risks to Southwestern Pennsylvania children. The series is titled The Human Toll and it’s by three Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer: David Templeton, Don Hopey and Andrew Rush.
The series begins with the authors documenting the high occurrence of cancer deaths in children in parts of Southwestern Pennsylvania:
There are high numbers of childhood cancers — some of them rare — in mostly rural areas of southwestern Pennsylvania, and no one knows why.
The reporters examine the possible connection between the cancers and the presence of fracking. The second article documents studies that draw further links between similar illnesses and fracking; it's subheading tells us:
The industry says otherwise, but studies identify specific harms that shale-gas pollution can cause for fetuses, newborns, children and teenagers.
The second part also features the damage to one family's health and finances done by local fracking.
It is a detailed and well-documented series; it needs to be widely-disseminated.