I spoke to the EPA listening panel on June 16th regarding Methane reduction as a member of the Alliance of Nurses for Health Environments. Although a worldwide issue, Ohio is at high risk with Methane exposure. As of 2021, the Ohio oil and gas threat map indicated that 3.3 million people live in immediate threat radius of 103,084 active oil and gas wells, compressors, and processors. Over 780,000 schools are in that threat radius. It is estimated that 29,817 childhood asthma attacks are related to oil and gas ozone smog. Four counties have elevated cancer risk concern. In 2019, the Ohio Department of Health’s data showed approximately 1.25 million Ohio adults have been diagnosed with asthma. The childhood lifetime prevalence for Ohio is 11 children out of 100 have an asthma diagnosis. Methane and other volatile organic compounds (VOC) are toxic, being released by drilling. Peer-reviewed research links oil and gas production wells to babies born prematurely with low birth weights as well as increasing the risk of death. Methane and chemical releases associated with past and present oil, gas, and fracking affect human health. We need to support commonsense Methane rules by promoting renewable energy. I have been giving testimony since 2012 on the ill effects of Methane and other VOCs.
EarthWorks has done a remarkable job of making the invisible VISIBLE as seen in this video
There is so much damage that must be repaired. I have said before that my interests lie in prevention – we need educate on the hazards of our lifestyle and plastics dependence and how it affects our health. Then we need clean up past transgressions to the environment to promote health and prevent it from continuing to happen by sustainable living (I think that is a blog it itself). Some have been fortunate not to live in areas inflicted with air and water pollution but as our population grows and industrial and human energy grow, more neighborhoods see oil and gas production wells, both horizontal and vertical, which spew Methane and other VOCs. We need commonsense rules on the oil and gas industry and more renewable energy projects to offset coal and gas plants. Natural gas is far from natural. It is Methane and other VOCs plus radiation, same as coal. So, I am recommending two programs – Repairing the Damage: How invest in environmental reclamation can create good jobs. I am involved with ReImagine Appalachia and Ohio Environmental Council.
In addition, another program I am intimately involved with is A-Z Plastics. Each year we create zooms for education on the plastic pollution in our lives and what can be done. As I said, I can talk till I am blue on the dangers of Methane and plastics. But are the politicians and policy makers listening? This will be a great program and if you check out their webpage, there are links to all the programs, including me as a moderator on Union Solidarity. We are a group of environmental activists from different environmental groups concentrating on the effects of plastics in water and living bodies.
I will be at both of these programs in the audience. I hope I see you there. One last thing, get involved in the environmental issues. Feel free to comment. I want to know how we can improve the environment for all of us. As always, Rosie is at my feet sleeping through my zooms and writing.