PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center
Dear Elected Officials,
As Pennsylvania nurses, doctors and other health professionals we are very concerned about the recent allegations that the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DoH) is obstructing attempts to investigate and remedy potential impacts from shale gas drilling in the Commonwealth. The Department of Health created a unique list of “buzzwords such as fracking, Marcellus Shale, and drilling, to guide any complaint from the public.
Department of Health staff were specifically instructed not to respond to people who contacted them regarding health concerns related to the state’s unconventional natural gas extraction (or fracking). Instead, Department of Health employees were to refer these complaints to the Department’s Bureau of Epidemiology—different from any other health claim.
This practice could have limited the Department’s professional staff from accurately monitoring and responding to health problems related to our state’s unconventional gas industry. We are calling for a full investigation of the Department of Health’s response to fracking complaints, immediately open up past and future health complaints to the public, and ensure all future complaints are fully addressed.