Actor Mark Ruffalo invites Governor Wolf to “Meet with families directly impacted by fracking in PA”

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HARRISBURG, PA — Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo sent a letter to Governor Wolf, inviting the governor to go with him to meet families who are suffering health impacts related to drilling and fracking operations in Northeast and Southwest Pennsylvania, two of the areas that have been hit hardest by fracking. Ruffalo’s letter references how the PA Department of Health has failed to help residents suffering from health problems and notes how since he delivered over 30,000 petitions with PA residents harmed by fracking last fall to the Governor’s office in the Capitol, these families have still received no response or help. Instead Governor Wolf and former DEP Secretary Quigley have since approved over 1,000 new hydraulic fracturing permits in Pennsylvania,

Government officials, journalists, scientists, and citizens from over 60 countries around the world have visited Dimock to see the effects of drilling and fracking. Governor Wolf has not done so, angering many of his constituents. As the letter notes, affected residents and many organizations – along with tens of thousands of petitioners – have written to Governor Wolf multiple times about the harms of fracking and asking him to visit harmed residents and to help them, to no response.

“Many affected Pennsylvania residents have reached out to you asking you to visit their homes in Northeast Pennsylvania and meet with them first-hand, ultimately asking that you take action to help affected residents and stop the harm from drilling and fracking. Respectfully, it’s far past time that you do so,” Mark Ruffalo said in the letter to Governor Wolf.

The letter includes, “You have done nothing to help Pennsylvanians harmed by this industry. You have worked hand-in-hand with the industry, creating the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force, that included a group with government officials from your Administration and members of the industry to ‘build public acceptance’ and make it easier to fast-track fracking infrastructure.”

Residents continue to speak out about how fracking has irreparable harm to their lives, without any help from the state government despite their calls and pleas. There are reports of alarming symptoms, such as headaches, hair loss, nausea, asthma and breathing problems, rashes, and nosebleeds.

More than 680 peer-reviewed studies from leading researchers have confirmed that fracking causes water contamination, air pollution, and has serious health impacts. New York State banned fracking in 2015, citing significant public health impacts. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s own data reveal hundreds of confirmed cases of water contamination. Even more recently, a jury recently awarded two families in Dimock $4.2 million for damages from fracking operations. A pipeline explosion in Westmoreland County, PA served as an alarming reminder of the dangers of this industry and gas infrastructure, as does the news about potential fracking-related earthquakes in the state.

A copy of the letter can be viewed here.