17 October 2014

“UNCONVENTIONAL SHALE DRILLING: A FACT-BASED HEALTH, ENVIRONMENTAL, ECONOMIC AND POLICY DISCUSSION; WHAT WE KNOW, WHAT WE DON’T KNOW, WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW BEFORE MOVING FORWARD”
Grand Rapids, Ohio, March 27, 2013 - On April 5 and 6, 2013, a group of scientists, doctors, attorneys, researchers, environmental advocates and policy experts will assemble in Warren, Ohio to present and discuss the impacts of unconventional shale drilling, also called “fracking.” This conference is one of the first in the state to study and discuss facts, concerns and evolving science related to this new industry in Ohio. The conference will be held at the Wean Foundation, 147 West Market Street, Warren, Ohio.

The conference keynote speaker is Deborah Rogers of Energy Policy Forum in Dallas, Texas. (http://energypolicyforum.org/). Ms. Rogers will share her expert background in finance and banking and present: “Shale and Wall Street: Was the Decline in Natural Gas Prices Orchestrated?”

Deborah Rogers founded the Energy Policy Forum to research, educate and consult on policy and financial issues related to shale gas and renewable energy. She has been featured in articles discussing the financial anomalies of shale gas in the New York Times, Rolling Stone and the Village Voice.

Bernard D. Goldstein, MD, Emeritus Professor and Dean, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh will present: “The Potential Public Health Impacts of Shale Gas Drilling: An Overview.”

Additional speaker information and conference topics are listed below. The conference program is attached to this press release email transmission.

The unconventional fracking industry is relatively new to Ohioans, but it has been used in other states as a way to collect natural gas, oil and other petrochemical by-products from deep underground. Now that the industry has a track record, the conference sponsors are requesting Ohio’s elected officials and regulatory agencies to take the time to study what is known about the fossil fuel fracking process, what is not known, and what needs to be studied in greater depth for the benefit of the environment, economy and health of future generations of Ohioans.

“Already what is known about fracking is of serious concern. There are many communities, first responders, and local officials who do not know about the process itself and the health, economic, and social issues. For example, what are the public health and safety consequences of fracking-related truck traffic, flaring drilling rigs, compressor station exhaust, storage tank leaks and fumes, and toxic waste pits, especially near homes and schools? What are the implications of the increasing number of waste injection wells being permitted in Ohio to dispose of billions of gallons of toxic and radioactive waste generated in Ohio as well as to receive shipments of toxic waste from other states? What are the effects of the consumption and destruction of billions of gallons of Ohio's freshwater supplies, especially considering projected drought conditions and water shortages? We have brought together outstanding experts to help answer these important questions and to make accurate, scientific information available to the public,” said Lea Harper, a conference organizer and affiliate of the advocacy group, Fresh Water Accountability Project.

Conference organizers, including FracTracker Alliance, Buckeye Forest Counci, and FreshWater Accountability Project Ohio), have identified that there is a need for easily accessible factual information to be made more available to the public free of industry influence and political pressure.

Organizers believe that, partly because of the prevalence of oil and gas industry advertising and monetary influence, the serious concerns of water usage, wastewater disposal, air and water pollution as well as documented detrimental effects on human and animal health have often been downplayed or disregarded.

The conference will host researchers who have studied the human health effects of fracking that have been experienced and documented. Jill Kriesky of Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project will share actual health data and projections. Dr. Peter Nara, CEO of Biological Mimetics, Inc., will present early research on correlation of health effects in proximity to fossil fuel extraction and disposal locations. Dr. Julie Weatherington-Rice, Sr. Scientist at Bennett and Williams Environmental Consultants, Inc., will present on source water protection and shale gas waste disposal issues. Other experts include Dr. Rumi Shammin of Oberlin College and Dr. Andrew Kear of Bowling Green State University.

Additional presenters will discuss important matters regarding the history and known effects of unconventional shale drilling as well as the local impacts, policy implications, required protections, and projected future costs to Ohioans. They include representatives from Concerned Citizens Ohio, Ohio Citizen Action, Ohio League of Conservation Voters, Environment Ohio, Ohio Environmental Council, Community Legal Defense Fund, Ohio Sierra Club, Food and Water Watch and Policy Matters Ohio.

This conference is the first of many future public forums in which researchers, environmentalists, public health officials and grassroots groups will come together to educate themselves and others on this important issue in a continued study of data and projections to derive policy and protection recommendations. It is important at this time in Ohio to wait until the information is fully researched and the harmful effects of fracking are studied and revealed to potentially avoid serious economic, ecological and human health costs in the future.

The public, elected officials, healthcare practitioners, emergency response managers and all those interested in learning more facts on fracking from other than industry-sponsored programs and advertising are invited to attend. Scholarships are available for grassroots organizers, community emergency response managers, environmental agency employees and public health officials. Seating is limited.

Online conference registration is available at Registration. Conference organizers can be contacted at 888-287-6068 for more information.

All media are invited to attend. For media inquiries, to schedule an interview, or for more information, please contact the FreshWater Accountability Project at 419-450-7042, or 888-287-6068 or e-mail: We want clean water