Dept. Of Health To Give DEP Advisory Committee Update On Oil & Gas Production Health Registry Oct. 17
On October 17, the DEP Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee is scheduled to hear an update from the Department of Health’s Bureau of Epidemiology on the findings so far from its Oil and Natural Gas Production Health Registry.
The formal presentation from the Department of Health starts with a general finding that “epidemiologic evidence has found associations between unconventional oil and natural gas production in Pennsylvania and the following: adverse birth outcomes and increased respiratory problems.”
[Note: "Associations" in epidemiological studies between an exposure and a health effect do not necessarily imply causation in the world of epidemiology.]
At the same time, the Health Department points out there are limitations in existing epidemiologic studies, including proxy measure of exposure, retrospective cohort study design and reliance on medical records data.
As of June, the Oil and Gas Production Health Registry has received 121 formal health complaints representing 258 individuals, but there have been a total of 160 complaints from 2011 to 2017.
The most complaints on the Health Registry came from Washington County (41), followed by Susquehanna (29), Bradford (21), Greene (8), Lycoming (6), Tioga (3) and Butler (3).
The Health Department noted it does not conduct environmental sampling and the information it receives from people is self-reported.
Since 2011, the most frequent complaints include Respiratory (134), Neurological (109), Dermatological (92), General Symptoms- sleep disturbance, fatigue, fever, chills (91), Gastrointestinal (90), Psychological (60), Eye (50), Cardiovascular (41), Ear (30), Urogenital (26) and a category called “Missing” for lacking information (36).
The most recent report from the Health Registry also tracks related environmental concerns for all complaints since 2011 by county, such as sources related to air, water, soil, noise, truck traffic and others. Click Here to review the report.
More information on health impacts is available on the Department of Health’s Oil & Natural Gas Production Health Concerns webpage. To add your information about health concerns from oil and gas production to the Registry, call 717-787-3350.
Also on the agenda for the Advisory Committee agenda is the final regulatory language lowering the sulfur content of heating oil from 500 ppm to 15 ppm, overview of RACT III requirements, an update on recent court decisions on the interstate pollution rule, the PA Climate Action Plan and a status report on all State Implementation Plan revisions.
The meeting will be held in Room 105 of the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg starting at. 9:15.
For more information and available handouts, visit the DEP Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee webpage. Questions should be directed to Kirit Dalal by sending email to: email@example.com or calling 717-772-3436.
[Posted: October 4, 2019]
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