As I mentioned in a blog post from late last year, the EPA is currently reviewing its rules for controlling the air emissions from oil and gas operations. As part of this process, EPA held public meetings in Texas and Colorado to hear from the public. I recently read comments posted on another blog that reminded me of how important the EPA's work is. Residents in the Barnett Shale wrote:
"Please help, please help me. I have been getting headaches, nausea, burning my throat and eyes beginning in the end of May beginning of June. I felt great for 36 hours and this morning, withing 4 minutes of my walk: 6:20 AM, it all started. Funny, I got to Keller and all of my symptoms were gone. They’re getting worse around Bartonville........."
"I woke with a bloody nose, foggy and lethargic."
"When I was working in my garden at twilight last night, I smelled this sickeningly sweet smell and my eyes began to burn. It hurt a lot for several hours last night and they are still stinging today."
I have heard similar stories from families in New Mexico, Colorado, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Arkansas, and more.
If you couldn't make it to one of the EPA public meetings, you can still tell your story to the EPA. Our colleagues at the Colorado Environmental Coalition have set up a webpage that makes it easy for you to tell your story, and they will deliver it to the EPA. Just click on this link: Tell your story to the EPA. I encourage those of you who have experienced air emissions from oil and gas operations to communicate your concerns to the EPA.