Our mission is to respond to individuals’ and communities’ need for access to accurate, timely and trusted public health information and health services associated with natural gas extraction.
The Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (SWPA-EHP) is a nonprofit environmental health organization created to assist and support Washington County residents who believe their health has been, or could be, impacted by natural gas drilling activities.
SWPA-EHP has an onsite nurse practitioner who is available by appointment for home or office visits, exams and consultations with people who think their health may be compromised by nearby gas drilling activities (including compressor stations, wastewater pits, and truck traffic). She will also provide referrals, help clients navigate the health care system, and consult with environmental health specialists about residents’ medical conditions.
The office also serves as a resource center for information on the potential routes of exposure from hazardous substances, as well as strategies for limiting the risk of health effects. Our staff will be available by appointment in the office and by phone to address concerns residents have about their environmental conditions. We will answer questions, provide guidance and steer people toward other resources when possible.
At SWPA-EHP we are aware of the uncertainty around what precisely Washington County residents are exposed to. The scarcity of objective, reliable data on the health effects of gas extraction activities leaves open many questions about the origins of residents’ health problems and the scope of public health risks in communities. We do not, however, see this uncertainty as a cause for inaction. As public health professionals we know that the perception in the community of environmental dangers, along with plausible sources of hazardous substances, are reason enough to provide a public health response.
State and federal agencies as well as research institutions are beginning the extensive research required to help determine adverse health and environmental impacts on regions affected by drilling. Epidemiologic research on the health effects of living near natural gas drilling activities is crucial and we support it. But this type of research takes a long time to conduct and we know people need information and help now.
Please contact us with your questions and concerns. And check back in with our website. We’ll continue to update our information and recommendations.
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For More Information please contact:
Raina Rippel, Project Director
SWPA Environmental Health Project
4198 Washington Road Suite 5,
McMurray, PA 15317
Open Tuesday — Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.