Shalefield Stories: Residents on the Frontlines of Fracking Tell Their Personal Stories in New Booklet

Environment Maryland Research and Policy Center

Baltimore, MD— As Maryland considers whether the dirty drilling practice known as “fracking” should be allowed, residents next door in Pennsylvania today recounted their stories of illness, water contamination, and damage to their livelihoods due to dirty drilling operations. Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center presented the residents’ Shalefield Stories as the latest evidence for rejecting fracking, even as state officials consider whether drilling practice will be allowed in Maryland.

“Behind the alarming numbers the outline fracking’s environmental impacts, there are real people whose lives have been gravely impacted by these polluting practices,” said Joanna Diamond from Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center. “These are their stories, and it is our responsibility to heed their words of warning on fracking.”

People recalling their experiences with fracking damage in Shalefield Stories include:

       –  Judy Armstrong Stiles of Bradford County, Pa., who spoke of the barium and arsenic that was found in her drinking water, and then in her blood, after Chesapeake began drilling on her land; and

       –   June Chappel of Washington County, Pa., who lived with a 15 million gallon fracking waste pit just 200 feet from her hou

While Shalefield Stories was compiled by individual residents in Pennsylvania, there have also been similar tragedies in other fracking states, including Colorado, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia.

One of the common themes running through Shalefield Stories is how people have become sick living on the frontlines of fracking. Judy Armstrong, for instance, tells her story of how she lost her health as a result of fracking.

Environment Maryland Research & Policy Center presented Shalefield Stories today, as state officials consider whether fracking will be allowed in the State.

“Anyone who doubts the damage of dirty drilling, all they have to do is look next door to the nightmare unfolding in Pennsylvania. We have known this truth for some time. But now we are hearing it from the source, from the very people living on the frontlines of fracking,” concluded Diamond. “We urge our decision-makers in Annapolis to take action so we can swiftly close the door on dirty drilling.”


Environment Maryland is a state-based, citizen-supported, environmental advocacy organization, working towards a cleaner, greener, healthier future.