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by Aidan Connelly
This past week, Massachusetts House of Representatives member Denise Provose stood with Ben Hellerstein of Environment Massachusetts in front of Massachusetts General Hospital to campaign against the looming threat of fracking in the Pioneer Valley Massachusetts.
Hellerstein and Provose reached out to Massachusetts public health professionals to publicize the significant health risks posed to those living in areas where fracking takes place.
“With the prospect of fracking coming to the Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts, it’s critical that we act now to protect our communities. That’s why we’re urging our elected officials to support house bill 3796 which would create a 10 year moratorium on fracking in Massachusetts.”[soundcloud id='135852307' color='#2a3590']
Fracking, also known as Hydraulic Fracturing, is a process in which millions of gallons of water, often laced with toxic chemicals, is blasted on underground rock formations for releasing oil and natural gas. The process has been known to contaminate local water supplies, filling them with toxic heavy metals and radioactive materials such as uranium and radon.
Provose articulated her confusion over the lack of backing fracking opposers are seeing.
“I think it’s peculiar that we don’t look more closely at what we are putting into our land and water and air. Instead we stand aside and wonder why are autism rates growing? Why are childhood cancer rates growing?”
The two are pushing for a bill that would effectively ban fracking in Massachusetts for the next ten years. Until then, the pollutants that come with fracking in Massachusetts continue to pose a serious health risk not only to the state of Massachusetts, but to the entire United States.