A new study by Environment America Research & Policy Center shows that more than 650,000 K-12 grade children attend school within one mile of a fracked well.
The report says:
“Oil and gas companies are fracking near our communities, polluting our air and water, and risking the health of our children and other vulnerable populations.”
In the nine states the report examined, it was found that there are 1,947 child care facilities 1,376 schools, 236 nursing care providers and 103 hospitals within a one-mile radius of fracked wells in the nine states examined.
If you go out just 1 mile farther, the number of K-12 students close to fracked wells jumps to 1,417,369.
The report included data from nine states total including Arkansas, California, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia.
The report defines “fracking” as “including all of the activities needed to bring a well into production using high-volume hydraulic fracturing. This includes drilling the well, operating that well, processing the gas or oil produced from that well, and delivering the gas or oil to market.”
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have found that people who live near fracking sites are at an increased risk of health problems. Residents living in close proximity to fracked wells are exposed to air pollutants that increased their risk of illness.
“Children, the elderly and the sick are particularly vulnerable,” the report says. Because of children developing bodies and the elderly and sick’s weaker immune systems, their exposure to air pollution from fracking is increased.
But air pollution is only a part of the threat to public health and safety, according to the report. Explosions, fires and spills also threaten nearby residents and could contaminate drinking water.
The report concludes:
“Given the scale and severity of fracking’s impacts, banning fracking is the prudent and necessary course to protect public health and the environment.”
The spread of fracking across the U.S. over the last decade has been damaging to our environment and health, and it’s time to put a stop to the practice and start healing the damage.