By Marie Cusick
In his budget plan unveiled Tuesday, Governor Wolf proposed a $100,000 funding increase to the state Department of Health to create a registry to monitor people who live near natural gas drilling sites.
After New York State banned fracking late last year, citing public health concerns, Wolf said he planned to create a registry to monitor health complaints in Pennsylvania. States with significant oil and gas development handle public health issues differently. Colorado currently maintains an online public database of drilling-related complaints.
Public health advocates are encouraged by Wolf’s plan, but say $100,000 is not nearly enough money. Dr. Ruth McDermott-Levy teaches public health at Villanova University.
“It’s seed money to get a health registry started,” she says. “But to consider the long term health impacts, then more money is going to need to be committed.”
A spokeswoman for the state Department of Health said details about how the registry would work have not been determined yet.Read more