New Mexico: elementary school evacuated due to nearby natural gas well and health impacts

An elementary school in Farmington, New Mexico was evacuated yesterday after strong odors were detected and several teachers complained of nausea and headaches. According to a news article, "officials believe the gas odor was a result of the gas company venting a gas well within a few blocks of the school."

Last year, according to the article, "gas odors at the school sent at least a dozen students to the nurse and one teacher to urgent care."

Reports of serious health symptoms from the toxic air pollution associated with oil and gas wells have come from around the country. Recent air sampling from the Four Corners region around Farmington confirmed the presence of harmful air pollutants. We are encouraged that the U.S. EPA is reviewing current rules on the books, and we hope the agency will propose new rules that are much stronger to protect the health of communities and schools. We also need Congress to close gaping loopholes in the Clean Air Act that allow oil and gas producers to avoid laws designed to protect us from the most toxic air pollutants.