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Documents reveal US Environmental Protection Agency approval of toxic fracking chemicals in 2011

by Kenny Stancil

Between 2012 and 2020, fossil fuel companies were injected Possibly carcinogenic Per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS), or chemicals that can degrade into PFAS, are in the ground during oil and gas fracking, after former President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency approved their use despite agency scientists’ concerns about toxicity.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 approval of three new compounds for use in oil and gas drilling or fracking that could eventually degrade into PFAS, also called “forever chemicals,” wasn’t announced until Physicians for Social Responsibility ( PSR) on the agency’s internal records through a Freedom of Information Act request, the The New York Times mentioned Monday after reviewing the files.

According to the new PSR ReportAnd the Cracking with “Forever ChemicalsAnd the Oil and gas companies including ExxonMobil, Chevron, and others engaged in hydraulic fracturing or hydraulic fracturing have since 2012 pumped toxic chemicals that can make up PFAS into more than 1,200 wells in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming.

while the times Noting that newly released documents constitute some of the earliest evidence of the possible presence of PFAS in fracking fluids, the PSR report warns that “the lack of full disclosure of chemicals used in oil and gas operations increases the likelihood that PFAS will be used even on a larger scale than it indicates.” Records, both geographically and at other stages of the oil and gas extraction process, such as drilling, that precede underground injections known as fracking.”

“It is very disturbing to see how much important information about these chemicals is being kept out of sight,” Barbara Gottlieb, director of the Environment and Health Program at PSR, said. He said Monday in a press release. “Lack of transparency about fracking chemicals puts human health at risk.”

Such as times mentioned:

In the three chemicals approval order of October 26, 2011, EPA scientists cited preliminary evidence that under some conditions, the chemicals can “degrade in the environment” into substances similar to PFOA, a type of PFAS chemical, It can “remain in the environment” and “be toxic to humans, wild mammals, and birds.” EPA scientists recommended additional testing. These tests were not mandatory and there is no indication that they will be conducted.

“The EPA has identified serious health risks associated with chemicals proposed for use in oil and gas extraction, yet it allowed these chemicals to be used commercially with very lax regulation,” PSR researcher Dusty Hurwitt told the paper.

In a statement released Monday, Winonah Hutter, CEO of Food & Water Watch, said, call The PSR report is “disturbing,” and said it “confirms what hundreds of scientific studies and thousands of pages of data have already shown over the past decade: fracking is an inherently hazardous risk to the health and safety of people and communities close to it, and should be banned completely.”

As PSR notes, PFAS – highly potent toxins that accumulate in the body and persist in the environment – pose a threat to human well-being and the environment. Negative health effects associated with PFAS include low birth weight, reproductive and immune system disorders, and cancer.

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“The potential for these chemicals to be used in oil and gas operations should prompt regulators to take rapid action to investigate the extent of such use, pathways of exposure, and whether people are being harmed,” He said Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D. is board certified. Toxicologist and former director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

“This says nothing about the horrific impact of extracting and burning fossil fuels on our runaway climate crisis. Hydraulic fracturing threatens every person on the planet, directly or indirectly,” Hutter added.

according to times:

at 2016 Report, the Environmental Protection Agency has identified more than 1,600 chemicals used in drilling and fracking, or found in fractured wastewater, including nearly 200 that have been deemed carcinogenic or toxic to human health. The same EPA report warned that fracking fluid could seep from drilling sites into groundwater and that leaks could stem from underground wells that store millions of gallons of sewage.

Communities near drilling sites have long complained about polluted water and the health problems they say are associated with it. Failure to disclose what type of chemicals were present hindered diagnosis or treatment. Various peer-reviewed studies have found Evidence of diseases And the Other health effects among Persons Living near oil and gas sitesdisproportionate burden on her people of color and other disadvantaged or marginalized communities.

“The Obama and Biden administration approved the use of toxic PFAS chemicals for fracking a decade ago, and after all these years, President Joe Biden’s practices haven’t changed a bit,” Hutter said.

“The Biden administration has claimed to be concerned about PFAS contamination across the country,” Hutter said. Biden himself pledged during the campaign to stop new fracking operations on federal soil. Meanwhile, this administration is approving new hydraulic fracturing permits at a pace similar to Trump’s, with no slowdown on the horizon.”

Earlier this month, EPA whistleblowers accused the Biden administration of continuing a “war on science” with directors at the agency. allegedly Modify reports about the risks posed by chemicals and retaliate against employees who report misconduct.

Such as Shared dreams mentioned, public officials responsible for environmental responsibility filed a formal complaint on behalf of four scientists to the Office of the Inspector General of the Environmental Protection Agency, demanding an investigation into reports that high-ranking officials routinely omitted important information from chemical risk assessments or altered document conclusions to provide the impression that The chemicals involved are safer.

Referring to what was revealed Monday about the Obama administration’s decision to greenlight the use of PFAS for cracking, Jimmy Hen, co-founder of 350.org and director of Fossil Free Media, noted “a scandal that is supposed to drive every nightly news program,” still You don’t know the full range of toxic chemicals companies use in their fracking operations.”

“Why would the EPA allow them to poison our communities without conscience?” Asked.

Hutter called on Biden to “immediately fulfill his promise to stop new hydraulic fracturing operations on federal lands,” adding that “his administration must take urgent action to contain the use of PFAS chemicals and their deadly spread in our waters and communities.”

Source: Shared dreams

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