While Pennsylvania’s Department of Health and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) continue the process of trying to find a way to monitor health complaints related to natural gas development, public health advocates are pushing the departments even harder for answers.
When setting the state’s budget plan, Governor Tom Wolf Proposed $100,000 to be allocated towards the health department for the health registry, but health advocates are claiming that $100,000 is not nearly enough money to fund the registry. The other drawback of Wolf’s proposed budget for the health department is that it is not a guarantee that Legislation will pass it, which is an issue. Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley commented on the proposed budget:
If that doesn’t pass, we’ll have to look for Plan B. This is an issue that’s not going away … There are questions. They need to be dealt with in a transparent way.
As reported by State Impact Pennsylvania, “Raina Rippel directs the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, which tracks drilling related complaints. She spoke to DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council Wednesday about the benefits of monitoring health issues.” During her time speaking to the Citizens Advisory Council, Rippel stated the following:
We truly believe this is a timely, urgent issue … We want to see action on this as soon as possible. We understand the political machine is such that it could take some time to see this fully up and running.
To read State Impact Pennsylvania’s full story regarding the Marcellus health registry, click here.