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Fracking and Health: Ask an Expert
33 minutes | Jun 19, 2019
Episode 19: What does fracking have to do with plastic? Part 2 w/David Azoulay
The plastic lifecycle starts with oil and gas extraction and extends through manufacturing, consumer use, and waste management. David Azoulay, Director of the Environmental Health Program at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and coauthor of “Plastic & Health: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet” report, details potential exposures and health impacts at each stage of the plastic lifecycle. He suggests that organizations collaborate to create one compelling narrative addressing the entire lifecycle, working together to find solutions to plastic’s toxic legacy.
16 minutes | Jun 10, 2019
Episode 18: What does fracking have to do with plastic? Part 1 w/Steven Feit
Ethane, a byproduct of natural gas extraction, is used in ethylene production, the primary feedstock for plastic manufacturing. Steven Feit, an attorney in the Climate and Energy Program of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and coauthor on their “Fueling Plastics” investigative series, explains how the U.S. fracking boom is now targeting ethane as a separate commodity, leading to an expansion of infrastructure along the fossil fuel to plastics supply chain. He encourages a collaboration among organizations to include the entire plastic lifecycle when addressing health and environmental impacts.
13 minutes | May 27, 2019
Episode 17: How does fracking wastewater threaten our health and the environment? w/Dr. Cozzarelli
Millions of barrels of flowback and produced water, laden with toxic chemicals, come to the surface during oil and gas production. Dr. Isabelle Cozzarelli, Research Hydrologist in the USGS National Research Program, describes the wastewater cycle from fracking to disposal including risks to human and environmental health, and invites nonprofit organizations to contribute to discussions on current wastewater issues.
15 minutes | Apr 1, 2019
Episode 16: What risks do pipelines pose to a community? w/Carl Weimer
The United States has over three million miles of pipelines used for gathering, transporting, and distributing natural gas and liquids, including crude oil. Carl Weimer, Executive Director of the Pipeline Safety Trust, provides details on who is in charge of pipeline safety and what happens when pipelines fail. He addresses potential health and environmental impacts, and how current regulations are not sufficient to protect public health and safety.
10 minutes | Feb 16, 2019
Episode 15: How does fracking contribute to ozone pollution? w/Lesley Fleischman
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are released along with methane during oil and gas operations and contribute to local and regional ozone formation. Lesley Fleischman, Senior Analyst with Clean Air Task Force, explains how venting and leaking VOCs can impact lung health and respiratory function. She encourages NGOs to educate themselves and push for tighter methane and VOC regulations at the state and federal levels. Note: an earlier version of this podcast incorrectly put the number of facilities at 12 million. The current podcast has the correct number at 1.3 million.
12 minutes | Jan 16, 2019
Episode 14: What do biocides have to do with fracking? w/Dr. Thomas Borch
Biocides may be released into the environment in produced water through spills, surface water disposal, or reuse, potentially impacting public health and the environment. Dr. Thomas Borch, Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University, discusses why biocides are used in fracking and describes the difficulties identifying and measuring them in produced water.
17 minutes | Dec 6, 2018
Episode 13: Unconventional vs conventional oil/gas extraction: what's the difference?w/Dr. Ingraffea
As unconventional oil and gas extraction evolves, the scale of operations expands to include more wells, more chemicals, more sand, more emissions, more waste. Dr. Tony Ingraffea, Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, at Cornell University, explains how this increase in scale leads to higher risk of environmental pollution and potential health impacts. He suggests starting with the facts to effectively educate stakeholders and decision makers.
11 minutes | Nov 12, 2018
Episode 12: What social stressors exist in communities impacted by fracking? w/Dr. Stephanie Malin
The uncertainty surrounding environmental and public health impacts of fracking can lead to individual and community stress. Dr. Stephanie Malin, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Colorado State University, discusses social stressors such as diminished quality of life, feelings of uncertainty and powerlessness, and community tension and offers insight into how communities can address these challenges.
12 minutes | Oct 1, 2018
Episode 11: Is road spreading of oil and gas wastewater safe? w/Dr. William Burgos
“Beneficial reuse” of produced water, a byproduct of oil and gas development, includes road spreading for dust suppression and deicing. Dr. William Burgos, Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Penn State University, describes beneficial reuse of produced water focusing on dust suppression for roads. He addresses chemical contaminants, exposure pathways, and potential impacts on human and ecological health and includes suggestions to strengthen protections when reusing wastewater.
12 minutes | Sep 4, 2018
Episode 10: Can environmental health research help communities impacted by fracking? w/Dr. Howard
As fracking operations move closer to populated areas, communities are concerned about potential impacts on their health and safety. Dr. Gregory Howard, environmental public health scientist and consultant, describes various health study designs with a focus on the goals and needs of the community and the decision makers they are trying to reach as well as the challenges of doing such research.
12 minutes | Jun 25, 2018
Episode 9: Can noise from fracking operations affect your health? with Dr. Michael McCawley
Industrial noise pollution is generated during development of an unconventional oil and gas well site. Dr. Michael McCawley, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at West Virginia University, discusses the adverse health impacts associated with stress from environmental noise exposure. He describes the factors contributing to noise levels during well pad development and how mitigation measures and setbacks may not effectively protect residents.
13 minutes | Jun 2, 2018
Episode 8: How did the state of Maryland ban fracking? with Brooke Harper
While many NGOs have worked with communities to enact fracking bans, there has been less success on the state level. Brooke Harper, Maryland Policy Director at Chesapeake Climate Action Network, discusses the strategies used in Maryland to mobilize support to ban fracking in the state. She highlights the importance of building support at the local level, engaging non-traditional partners, and the most effective actions that contributed to their successful campaign.
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