Guardians of the Public's Health

508 Disclosure of Environmental Changes Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing (E)

  • 15 Jun 2015 7:13 AM
    Reply # 3387005 on 3322544
    Anonymous

    HOD 2015 Action:

    508, Renamed CHEMICALS USED DURING THE HYDRAULIC FRACTURING (FRACKING) PROCESS (AAPHP, in parallel with Florida Medical Association):

    Passed in this amended form:

    RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association support the full disclosure of chemicals placed into the natural environment during the petroleum, oil and natural gas exploration and extraction process (New HOD Policy); and be it further

    RESOLVED, That our AMA support the requirement that government agencies record and monitor the chemicals placed into the natural environment for petroleum oil and natural gas extraction and the chemicals found in flowback fluids, to monitor for human exposures in well water and surface water, and to share this information with physicians and the public.  (New HOD Policy)

  • 30 Apr 2015 8:42 AM
    Message # 3322544
    Anonymous

    508 Disclosure of Environmental Changes Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing (E)

     Submitted by:       American Association of Public Health Physicians

     WHEREAS “fracking”, meaning “high-volume hydraulic fracturing”, is the technique used for petroleum oil and natural gas extraction that involves injecting millions of gallons of mud, water, and chemicals into the earth to fracture underground rock, allowing fossil fuels to be released for pumping to the surface, potentially leaving large volumes of polluted water and chemicals underground, plus air pollution affecting nearby communities; and

     

    WHEREAS in parts of the 20 U.S. States where hydraulic fracturing has occurred, including Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Florida, there have been numerous complaints of possible contamination of drinking water with methane, neurotoxins, radon and suspected carcinogens used in the hydraulic fracturing process and found in flowback fluids, which may pose significant risks to public health; and

     

    WHEREAS part of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 was amended by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to exclude drinking water quality from Federal jurisdiction, leaving it to the individual States to create laws and regulations of their own, and therefore this public health topic would best be addressed with a combination of local, state and national laws and regulations; and

     

    WHEREAS most US States do not require drilling companies to disclose to the public what chemicals are injected underground and in many cases physicians, public health officials and patients are prevented from discussing specific chemical exposures (“gag orders”), making it difficult for doctors to monitor, advise, or treat their patients based upon sound science; and

     

    WHEREAS in the past, the inability of physicians to have access to environmental exposure data, as in the examples of asbestos, lead, mercury, dioxins, tobacco and petroleum emissions, led to delays in diagnosis and treatment, with millions of Americans suffering as a result; therefore be it

     

    RESOLVED that our AMA will endorse legislation and regulations that require the full disclose of chemicals placed into the natural environment for petroleum, oil and natural gas exploration & extraction, (New HOD Policy) (Directive to Take Action);  and be it further

     

    RESOLVED, That the AMA will endorse legislation and regulations that require government agencies to record and monitor the chemicals placed into the natural environment for petroleum oil and natural gas extraction and the chemicals found in flowback fluids, to monitor for human exposures in well water and surface water, and to share this information with physicians and the public (New HOD Policy) (Directive to Take Action).

     

     

    RELEVANT AMA POLICY

     

    H-135.931 The Health Risks of Hydraulic Fracturing

     

    Our AMA encourages appropriate agencies and organizations to study the potential human and environmental health risks and impacts of hydraulic fracturing. (Res. 405, A-13)

     

    [Submitters acknowledge the Florida Medical Association’s important role in developing this topic and much of the wording above.  AAPHP’s national perspective shows that, in most of the country, the “flowback fluids” associated with high-pressure hydrocarbon exploration appear to pose greater health risks than the “fracking” chemicals themselves.  After consultation with Florida representatives, AAPHP is submitting this amended version of Florida’s resolution, with mention of flowback fluids in the second WHEREAS and in the second RESOLVED.  Thanks to our Florida colleagues for their gracious collaboration!]


    Last modified: 24 May 2015 1:20 PM | Anonymous
    Moved from AMA Resolutions: 02 May 2015 2:36 PM
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