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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

CUNY Faculty Evaluates Shipping Fracking Wastewaters

Ms. Elizabeth Ann Glass Geltman, a professor at the CUNY School of Public Health examined how the changes in technologies used to drill for oil and natural gas creates environmental and public health questions. The work was published in the journal Environmental Justice.


[Photo: Ms. Elizabeth Ann Glass Geltman]

When a publicly held company proposed shipping wastewaters from fracking sites in the Marcellus Shale by barge over the Ohio River, public sentiment was strong. The people of Appalachia had suffered water contamination from accidents involving extractive industries numerous times in the past.

This case study used qualitative methods to evaluate and measure public participation in permit proceedings in both the United States Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers.

The study highlighted public success in defeating the proposal to allow shipping of fracking waste by barge on rivers in the United States, but confirms the findings of earlier studies showing difficulties individual citizens have in effectively participating and engaging in federal permit and rulemaking proceedings.

The study suggests that to reduce environmental injustices in future proceedings, federal agencies issuing permits and engaged in rulemakings should adapt procedures to expand Internet availability of dockets.

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