For those like me that have taken statistics in college…math is important in sorting risk/return…. Natural News recently reported in a misleading way… “In January, a new study suggested that fracking sites increase the risk of birth defects by 30 percent, affecting more then 15 million people residing within a mile of a well.”
The actual study cited, however……..
http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1306722/ says that “Births to mothers in the most exposed tertile (> 125 wells/mile) had a 30% greater prevalence of CHDs (95% CI: 1.2, 1.5) than births to mothers with no wells within a 10-mile radius of their residence.”
For me living in Arlington, I have to relate the concentration of wells per sq mile as we have at least 350 gaswells in a 99 sq mile area which makes the density average to be < 4 wells per mile which is very different than > 125 wells per mile. BUT WAIT read on…..
The NIH report goes on to say “…well count accounts for the number of wells within the 10-mile radius of the maternal residence, as well as distance of each well from the maternal residence, giving greater weight to wells closest to the maternal residence. For example, an IDW well count of 125 wells/mile could be computed from 125 wells each located 1 mile from the maternal residence or 25 wells each located 0.2 miles from the maternal residence.”
So again lets relate this boldfaced statement, “or 25 wells each located 0.2 miles (1,056 feet) from the maternal residence”, to Arlington’s number of wells that “can” fit on each padsite once the build out is completed.
Arlington administratively approves new wells on existing sites…on those padsites that have a “drilling zone” which establishes how many gas wells can actually fit on a padsite.
In Arlington where Chesapeake drilled mostly to maintain the contracts, our 60 or so natural gas production sites currently have from 2 -12 gas wells on each padsite. UTA and General Motors has about 22 gas wells on each of their padsites.
IF THE PRICE OF Natural Gas GOES UP, Chesapeake WILL return to finish what they started in Arlington, and “then” we will see more of the associated risk that Natural News eluded to of the 30% birth defects. This would be where the NIH study claims risk to pregnant women/birth defects for those who live within 1,056 feet from a fully developed padsite containing about 25 wells.
My take away from the NIH .gov report is that all the BTEX and truck & engine surface diesel benzene spewing equipment in itself is something that does not belong in residential/school/business districts as cited in the report….
“The study by Lupo et al. (2010b) of 4,531 births in Texas found that mothers living in census tracts with the highest ambient benzene levels (0.9–2.33 ppbv) were 2.3 times more likely to have offspring with spina bifida than mothers living in census tracts with the lowest ambient benzene levels (95% CI: 1.22, 4.33).”
Our air quality here in the DFW metropolitan area already suffers from increased vehicle activity and decades of non-attainment to federal ozone standards.
Multiple, cummulative emissions (which can have a synergistic effect of 1+1= 5) have not been studied because of the endless combinations of chemicals & organic compounds. Therefore you cannot regulate what is unknown.
If you wanted to make an alarmist statement that has statistical power, an important message that people can quote me on based on the years of research over the last 5-7 years is this…..
“The injuries I fear the most are those syngeristic risks in exposures to multiple, cummulative, unknown, unregulated emissions.
This in itself is endangerment in having added high impact industrial gas well activities exposing people, animals and water/food sources.
In Arlington gas wells were recklessly permitted in close proximity to established facilities such as …
- 1) near our two water treatment plants,
- 2) the Exelon Power Plant and nearby compressor stations which is adjacent to our drinking water reservoir,
- 3) sub-stations,
- 4) the Arlington Municipal Airport, and
- 5) to the ever expanding General Motors facility-that blows to our Entertainment District.
BAD CITY of Arlington LEADERSHIP>>BAD BAD BAD!”