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November 30, 2011

More than 150,000 Comments Submitted in Favor of Cleaning Up the Natural Gas Industry

Natural gasToday, the comment period for the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed clean air safeguard around the natural gas industry closed. People like you across the country shared their thoughts and concerns with air quality near natural gas drill sites. Together, environmental groups, affected communities, and many others submitted more than 156,000 comments to the EPA in support of the safeguard and urging the agency to strengthen it even more.

Right now, the natural gas industry dumps massive amount of pollution like methane and sulfur dioxide into our air every year.  Pollution like this drastically lowers outdoor air quality and is extremely hazardous to human health, causing asthma attacks, hospital admissions, emergency room visits, cancer, and even early death.

To let the EPA know how this pollution is affecting our communities, we shared our stories at all three of the agency’s public hearings in Pittsburgh, Denver, and Arlington (TX).

Pittsburgh-Deb NardoneWe traveled to Pittsburgh where I personally delivered more than 20,000 comments (see me testifying with that stack of comments at the left) from individuals across the country concerned about air quality near natural gas wells. 

Then in Colorado we met April Beach and her three young boys (pictured below) who, in their backyard, play right next to a natural gas well pad.  Finally we stopped in Arlington, Texas, where the air quality is at a constant dangerous level because of the massive natural gas drilling in the area. 

Denver-AprilandFamily1Despite these stories, the industry tried to delay, block, and disregard this important clean air protection.  But because of the efforts made by you and many others, the EPA must now take our comments and make a decision.

I want to thank the organizers, volunteers, and all the helping hands that went into a successful series of hearings and comment period.  Your passion for cleaning up this industry and continued fight for clean air was made clear over the past few months and is greatly appreciated by me and by the thousands of communities living near natural gas drill sites.

We will continue to urge the EPA to strengthen and adopt its proposed standard to clean up the natural gas industry and the air we breathe.  The health of our communities and our children depend on it.

-Deb Nardone, Director of Sierra Club's Natural Gas Reform Campaign

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