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PSR Florida Fracking-Ban Resolution

November 16, 2015

Physicians for Social Responsibility/Florida Chapter
Fracking-Ban Resolution
November 2015

A resolution supporting legislation providing for a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing, acid fracturing, or any well stimulation performed for the purposes of exploration or production of oil or natural gas (referred to collectively as fracking in this resolution) in the state of Florida, including the prohibition of disposal of related materials and byproducts, anywhere within the state of Florida or in the waters adjacent to the state; opposing any legislation that would keep secret  any  substance used in fracking, or other methods of oil or gas  recovery and/or permit fracking to expand in Florida

PSR/Florida Fracking-Ban Resolution is based on the recently released “Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking” published jointly by Concerned Health Professionals of NY and Physicians for Social Responsibility, and other scientific research and medical reports in peer-reviewed journals.

Whereas fracking threatens potable water and there are documented cases of drinking water contamination that have resulted from spills of fracking fluid and fracking wastewater; and discharge of fracking waste into rivers and streams; and underground migration of fracking chemicals, including gas, into drinking water wells;

Whereas fracking emissions contribute to toxic pollution and smog (ground level ozone) at levels known to have health impacts;

Whereas public health problems associated with fracking, including occupational health and safety problems, are increasingly well documented;

Whereas exposure to environmental noise pollution, as seen in unconventional drilling and fracking operations, is linked to cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment, and sleep disturbance;

Whereas earthquakes are a consequence of fracking-related activities in many locations, leading to potential physical trauma and mental health issues;

Whereas fracking infrastructure poses serious potential exposure risks to those living near sites, with increase in dust exposure and respiratory problems from silica dust, a known cause of silicosis and lung cancer;

Whereas fracking activities can bring naturally occurring radioactive materials to the surface with potential harm to public health;

Whereas potential water and air contamination will put soil quality (Florida agriculture) as well as livestock health at risk with case reports that highlight instances of death, neurological disorders, aborted pregnancies and stillbirths in cattle and goats coming into contact with fracking waste water;

Whereas growing evidence shows that current regulations are not capable of preventing harm, with potential for harm to children especially worrisome; and

Whereas the gas industry’s use of “gag orders”, non-disclosure agreements, and settlements impede scientific study, stifle public awareness of these problems and puts patients at risk when seeking medical treatment after exposure to fracking chemicals/wastewater;  now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the Florida Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility:

  1. supports astatewide ban on the use of hydraulic fracturing, acid fracturing and well stimulation treatments performed for the purposes of exploration or production of oil or natural gas in the State of Florida;
  2. supports the prohibition of the disposal of hydraulic fracturing, acid fracturing and well stimulation related materials and byproducts, anywhere within the State of Florida or in the waters adjacent to the State;
  3. opposesany legislation that would allow or authorize more permits to allow fracking to expand in Florida, including legislation to overturn “home rule”; and
  4. opposes keeping secret from the public (in effect a public record “gag order,”) health authorities, physicians or governmental entities, the use, type and amount of any hazardous chemicals, or substances used in fracking or other oil or gas extraction methods.

Effective Date. This resolution shall take effect immediately upon adoption: DULY ADOPTED, this the ninth day of November, 2015.

PSR/Florida Board or Directors:

Lonnie Draper, MD – PSR/Florida President
Lynn Ringenberg MD – PSR/Florida Past-President, Treasurer
Marybeth Dunn, MPH – PSR/Florida Secretary

Board Members:

Jefry Biehler, MD, MPH
Jeannette Fleischer, ARNP
Rani Geriege, MD, MPH
Thomas Mason, PhD
Todd Sack, MD
Ron Saff, MD
Yolanda Whyte, MD

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    Given the timely and important consideration of the issue by state officials in Florida, Physicians for Social Responsibility, along with Concerned Health Professionals of New York, has released excerpts from the upcoming Fifth Edition of the Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking. Released in Miami in advance of the full report, this new document contains an up-to-date analysis and compilation of the science on water contamination risks from drilling, fracking, and associated activities. Read more »