Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Risks Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing Raises Human Rights Concerns

Energy
Risks Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing Raises Human Rights Concerns

Earthworks

A new human rights report details for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation specific ways in which hydraulic fracturing threatens to compromise international human rights norms. Commissioned by Earthworks' Oil and Gas Accountability Project, the report evaluates the production process known as hydraulic fracturing in relation to widely accepted international human rights norms.

In invited testimony before the New York Senate Standing Committee on Conservation in Canandaigua, New York, Dec. 12, biologist, author and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber highlighted the report’s conclusion that:

Viewed in light of human rights standards, that the risks associated with hydraulic fracturing may raise liability concerns for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, as the state considers whether and how to move ahead with large scale natural gas development.

The report, prepared by Environment and Human Rights Advisory, looks at a number of recent United Nations (U.N.) declarations and documents. One of these informs the U.N. Human Rights Council that the environmental damage caused by hydraulic fracturing for natural gas poses “a new threat to human rights.” And a recent U.N. Resolution states that "environmental damage can have negative implications, both direct and indirect, for the effective enjoyment of human rights."

Despite claims of economic benefit, the report notes that hydraulic fracturing presents significant risks to local air quality, to ground and surface waters, to soils and ecosystems and to several dimensions of human health.

The report’s author, Dr. Thomas Kerns, finds that although the current state of knowledge about potential human health and environmental impacts of these airborne and waterborne contaminants, as well as of their mixtures and interactions, is poor, some fracking chemicals even now are known to be endocrine disruptors and neurotoxins and some have been designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as probable or known carcinogens.

The report suggests that this points to a need for caution and for gathering further information before proceeding with licensing, especially since vulnerable and disadvantaged populations would be at even greater risk.

For more information, click here.

—————

Earthworks is dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the impacts of irresponsible mineral and energy development while seeking sustainable solutions.

Residents get in a car after leaving their homes to move to evacuation centers in central Vietnam's Quang Nam province on Oct. 27, 2020, ahead of Typhoon Molave's expected landfall. MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP via Getty Images

Typhoon Molave is expected to make landfall in Vietnam on Wednesday with 90 mph winds and heavy rainfall that could lead to flooding and landslides, according to the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. To prepare for the powerful storm that already tore through the Philippines, Vietnam is making plans to evacuate nearly 1.3 million people along the central coast, as Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Chipotle's "Real Foodprint" will tell you the ecological footprint of each menu item compared to the industry standard. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

How does your burrito impact the environment? If you ordered it from Chipotle, there is now a way to find out.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Are you noticing your shirts becoming too tight fitting to wear? Have you been regularly visiting a gym, yet it seems like your effort is not enough? It's okay to get disappointed, but not to lose hope.

Read More Show Less
Locals check out the new stretch of artificial beach in Manila Bay, Philippines on Sept, 19, 2020. patrickroque01 / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 4.0

By Sarah Steffen

A stretch of coastline in the Philippine capital, Manila has received backlash from environmentalists. The heavily polluted Manila Bay area, which had been slated for cleanup, has become the site of a controversial 500-meter (1,600-foot) stretch of white sand beach.

Read More Show Less
An illustration highlights the moon's Clavius Crater with an illustration depicting water trapped in the lunar soil there. NASA / Daniel Rutter

A pair of studies released Monday confirmed not only the presence of water and ice on the moon, but that it is more abundant than scientists previously thought. Those twin discoveries boost the prospect of a sustainable lunar base that could harvest the moon's resources to help sustain itself, according to the BBC.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch