HOme rule is now dead in PA

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To The Editor:
 I was horrified to read that the gas drilling industry has “persuaded” the Pennsylvania Legislature to pass HB1950 which will stop people who are poisoned by fracking chemicals from being promptly treated. See www.truth-out.org for details.

Synopsis: The industry doesn’t have to reveal compounds that have formed when toxic fracking chemicals and materials come together underground and then return to open waste pits, compressors stations or pipelines. They do not have to report exposure to heavy metals, radioactive substances, strontium. barium, arsenic, brine, bacteria, carcinogens or neurotoxins- either airborne or waterborne- from this industry’s toxic brew.

So when a patient comes in to the emergency room, sick or injured from exposure to fracking fluids or gasses, doctors will have to make a written request for data on the undisclosed chemicals they have been exposed to. Then… they have to keep it confidential! Think of the  resulting life threatening treatment delays. The entire community may end up at risk because doctors will not be allowed to notify the public of these dangers.

This to me is proof that the industry knows that much of the substances they are using are a threat to public health and they will pay to keep it quiet, knowing that if the health risks of their activities were to become public there would be such enormous outcry that they would be appropriately shut down.

This is not only a public health issue but a human rights and civil rights debacle as well. A tragedy in the making, made entirely legal by a short sighted and seemingly corrupt government.
This new law has also taken away a municipality’s right to ban fracking. Home rule, so valuable to all small towns, is now dead in Pennsylvania.
Stop this from happening to New York!

Robert Lidsky,
Andes