Brown Convenes Panel To Review Study on Health Effects of Fracking
On Wednesday, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced that he has convened a panel to review a recent study that found some chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing could be harmful to public health, CBS Local 2 reports (Tucker, CBS Local 2, 7/23).
The state Senate in 2013 commissioned the California Council on Science and Technology to conduct the study. It was released earlier this month.
The study found that while there is little evidence that fracking is directly linked to widespread negative health and environmental effects, the data and record-keeping necessary to understand whether the practice is contaminating future drinking water supplies and injuring nearby residents are incomplete (California Healthline, 7/10).
The panel announced by Brown includes representatives from nine state agencies (CBS Local 2, 7/23).
Fracking Regulations Spark Protests
In related news, more than 100 state residents this week protested the state's fracking practices after a Kern County family filed a lawsuit against Brown, Aljazeera America reports. The lawsuit argues that fracking regulations that went into effect July 1 fail to protect the health of Latino students who attend public schools near fracking wells.
Specifically, the lawsuit -- filed on behalf of the family by the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment -- alleges that the regulations violate antidiscrimination laws for failing to prohibit fracking near schools. The plaintiff also alleges that his family has been exposed to harmful levels of pollution and psychological stress caused by fracking.
Meanwhile, Strela Cervas, co-director of the California Environmental Justice Alliance, said, "The communities that are hit first and worst by climate change and fracking are communities of color and, disproportionately, low-income communities of color," noting that racial minorities often experience 70% more particulate matter emissions because of their close proximity to "major gas emitters" (El Nasser, Aljazeera America, 7/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.