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Policy & Advocacy Initiatives

EHP advocates for a health-protective approach to shale gas development that places health and wellbeing at the center of policy decisions and ensures safety and health for all, regardless of race or ethnicity, sex, sexual identity, age, disability, or socioeconomic status.

Our policy and advocacy work includes:

  • Engaging directly with legislators and public agencies (departments of health, departments of environmental protection, governors, attorney generals) to ensure adequate health protections 

  • Providing position statements and recommendations to assist policymakers in making informed decisions on public health

  • Making public statements, holding media events, and publishing op-eds, letters to the editor, and white papers promoting health-protective positions

  • Providing communities with advocacy tools that enable impacted residents to protect themselves from harm

 

For more information on our policy and advocacy work, contact EHP at info@environmentalhealthproject.org or 724-260-5504.
 

Current Projects

Policy White Paper

In April 2022, EHP released a white paper, Pennsylvania's Shale Gas Boom: How Policy Decisions Failed to Protect Public Health and What We Can Do to Correct ItThe paper recounts the events that set the stage for the shale gas boom in Pennsylvania, with a particular focus on the actions (and, in many cases, inactions) of governmental bodies that negatively impacted public health across the Commonwealth. While this account is not exhaustive by any means, it does illustrate trends across three policymaking bodies of state government, specifically the General Assembly, the Office of the Governor, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH).
 

The paper has become a bellwether for discussion among policymakers who care (and, in some instances, dare) to make public health a part of the shale gas dialogue. While it focuses primarily on Pennsylvania, the lessons learned are easily translatable to other states faced with extractive industries and petrochemical buildouts. View the Executive Summary and download the paper here.

HealthFirstPA

EHP is proud to work as a partner in HealthFirstPA, a coalition of health care professionals, public health advocates, parents, and faith leaders who defend children and other vulnerable populations from the health risks posed by harmful pollution from oil and gas development.

Methane Rulemaking

EHP works in partnership with more than a dozen organizations to advocate for better rules regarding methane pollution and controls at both the state and national level. View our public statement on the US EPA's 2021 draft methane rule here.

Protective Buffers PA Coalition

The Protective Buffers PA Coalition consists of EHP and seven partner organizations. Together, we aim to protect residents from the impacts of shale gas development by advocating for wider distances between shale gas facilities and occupied dwellings like schools, homes, and workplaces. Learn how you can take action here.

Past Projects

Public Health Summit

On February 22, 2022, EHP hosted Shale Gas and Public Health: Translating Science into Policy, a virtual public health summit. The summit was led by four experts in the fields of child health and development, endocrine disruption, environmental economics, and environmental justice. Learn more and access event content here.

Allegheny County, PA

EHP hosted community meetings with partner organizations to identify locations for local monitoring projects surrounding shale gas development infrastructure across the county. In North Braddock and McKees Rocks specifically, EHP contributed to regional shifts in public perception and understanding of the health impacts of oil and gas development by providing information for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's public hearing on the proposed well at the Edgar Thompson Works. EHP also canvassed residential areas in McKees Rocks to educate residents on the MRIE frac sand facility site and its role in localized air pollution.

Tompkins County, NY 

Since 2015, EHP has worked with Tompkins County residents. Currently, four homes in the area host Purple Air monitors. When EHP began working in this area, we collaborated with a local advocacy group, Mothers Out Front. This group was successful in its efforts to reduce emissions from the nearby Borger compressor station, a significant accomplishment for the Tompkins community and the fight against unconventional oil and gas development.

Washington County, PA

We began our work in Washington County in 2012. For nearly 10 years, we have collaborated with Washington County families, residents, and health professionals to defend their health — and their patients' health — against the impacts of shale gas development. Of our accomplishments in Washington County, a notable moment for our organization was the 2019 community meeting we held in Canonsburg, where more than 200 community members met to discuss childhood cancers in the area. This meeting propelled a movement to open discussions on the topic and encouraged local residents to advocate for further conducted research and policy changes.

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