A new report released by Penn Environment, an environmental advocacy group says vulnerable populations such as children and the ailing who are close to Marcellus Shale gas drilling sites may experience extra negative effects.
The study says that there are permitted well sites within two miles of more than 320 day care centers, 67 schools and nine hospitals statewide. The report found that the Pennsylvania DEP recorded 241 violations of environmental regulations at Marcellus Shale well sites within 2 miles of day care facilities from January 2008 to June 2010.
"Whether its air or water pollution, accidents or explosions, we've seen that the effects of Marcellus Shale gas extraction don't necessarily end at the drill pad's borders," said Erika Staaf, an advocate with the organization.
Staaf said they have not identified an actual incident that has affected a school or one of the facilities such as an explosion.
Staaf said children are likely to be more vulnerable to pollution caused by natural gas extraction because they are still developing while those that are sick are also more vulnerable than the general population.
The group says Pennsylvania should designate places near where people live or work off limits to gas extraction.
The full report