The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Gas Industry Loses Fight to Keep Fracking Pollution Case Secret
Photo: Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice
Judge Debbie O’Dell-Seneca reversed an order by a Washington County court sealing the record in a case in which a Pennsylvania family sued several gas companies over property damage and health impacts related to air and water pollution from nearby natural gas operations.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Observer-Reporter had intervened in the case to unseal the records, while gas companies unsuccessfully fought to keep the records out of the public eye.
Earthjustice, the non-profit environmental law firm, submitted an amicus brief supporting the newspapers on behalf of Philadelphia Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians Scientists & Engineers for Healthy Energy, Dr. Bernard D. Goldstein, Dr. Walter Tsou, Dr. Jerome A. Paulson, Dr. William Rom, Dr. Sandra Steingraber, Dr. Simona Perry, Dr. Robert Oswald, Dr. Michelle Bamberger, Kathryn Vennie and Earthworks. The doctors, scientists and advocates argued in favor of greater transparency about natural gas operations and their health effects.
"This case pitted the natural gas industry's insistence on secrecy against the historic commitment of the courts to public access to judicial proceedings," said Earthjustice attorney Matthew Gerhart. "The court’s ruling reaffirms the importance of public access to the courts. This is a victory for everyone who believes that we need more information about the environmental and health consequences of fracking."
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.
Half the world is on lockdown. So, the constant hum of cars, trucks, trains and heavy machinery has stopped, drastically reducing the intensity of the vibrations rippling through the Earth's crust. Seismologists, who use highly sensitive equipment, have noticed a difference in the hum caused by human activity, according to Fast Company.