Public Health & Liability Conference; Fracking & Ohio’s Future

Held May 17, 2016 at the Columbus Statehouse

Despite the lack of attendance from Ohio’s legislators and regulators, the conference sponsored by FreshWater Accountability Project brought information and empowerment to those attending. The few elected and public health officials who attended are greatly appreciated and will be remembered. Those who did not attend will be sent the following information so that no one who has a position of public responsibility and accountability will be able to say that he or she did not know about the harms and the future liability that will be imposed upon the taxpayers of Ohio when the extent of the environmental and economic destruction of fracking becomes fully known:

Understanding Health Impacts from Unconventional Gas Drilling: Addressing Community Concerns, Promoting Public Health, and Reducing Health Effects — the EHP Model

Raina Rippel, Director, Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project

Raina Rippel is the Director of the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (EHP), which she helped form in 2011. She was formerly Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility/Maine (1999-2006), and the Executive Director of the Center for Coalfield Justice in Washington, PA (2008-2011). She convened the first conference in the Northeast educating medical and public health professionals on the connections between health and the environment. Trained in community organizing, Raina Rippel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.


Public Health & New York’s Decision to Ban Fracking

Kathleen Nolan, Senior Research Director – Catskills Mountainkeeper

Dr. Nolan is a pediatrician and bioethicist, with training in epidemiology and research design. She serves as Senior Research Director for Catskill Mountainkeeper, where her work has focused on articulating the health impacts of high-volume horizontal fracturing. She is member of the Steering Committee of the New York chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, a co-founder of Concerned Health Professionals of New York and co-author of CHPNY’s Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking.


Oil & Gas Development; Views from Environmental Public Health Perspective

Erin Haynes, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati

Erin Haynes received her Masters degree in Toxicology from the University of Cincinnati and Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences.  She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Molecular Epidemiology in Children’s Environmental Health training program at the University of Cincinnati before joining UC as faculty in Environmental Health.  Dr. Haynes’ primary research interest is to conduct community engaged environmental health research.  She has worked with rural Appalachian communities in Ohio to help understand their exposure to manganese and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons from various industries including unconventional natural gas extraction.  She has worked with firefighters to investigate their exposures and develop educational outreach material related to the research.  She is the Director of the Community Outreach and Engagement Core within the NIEHS Environmental Health Center and the Co-Director of the Community Engagement Core within the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training.


Fracking – No Longer a Question of “Does it…” but more about “To What Extent”…and other One Health Musings

Peter Nara, M.Sc., D.V.M., Ph.D., F.A.A.A.S. President / CEO, Biological Mimetics Inc.

Dr. Nara was elected as a Fellow to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science in 2011, the recipient of the College of Veterinary Medicines Distinguished Alumni in 2014, is currently an adjunct professor of at the Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, the past Endowed Eugene Lloyd Chair, Professor in Vaccinology, Founding Director for the Center for Advanced Host Defense, Immunobiotics, and Translational Comparative Medicine Iowa State University. Dr. Nara is currently the CEO and President of Biological Mimetics, Inc. in Frederick Maryland and co-founder of Lantern Pharma Oncology in Dallas Texas and AVXBIO in St Louis MO.  He holds an MS in Immuno-pharmacology, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and PhD from The Ohio State University, a combined residency in Comparative Pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington D.C. and a NIH post-doctoral Fellowship at the National Institute of Health.  He has published over 200 scientific papers, reviews, book chapters and books and serves as advisor and expert on the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences and other numerous leading health organizations.


Oil and Gas vs. Public Water Supplies: What you don’t know can harm you

Dr. Julie Weatherington-Rice, Senior Scientist, Bennett & Williams Environmental Consultants, Inc.

Dr. Rice continues to work to preserve Ohio’s air, soil and especially water.  She continues as the Senior Scientist for Bennett & Williams Environmental Consultants Inc. an Ohio engineering firm that specializes in the development, preservation and protection of public water supplies with efforts that have been applied worldwide. She is also a former Adjunct Professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Ohio State University and remains an active coordinator of the Ohio Fracture Flow Working Group, formerly housed at OSU, and co-author of the group’s ongoing publication and outreach efforts.  Beginning again in fall of 2011, Dr. Rice has focused her personal research on the nexus of oil and gas production in Ohio and Ohio’s public water supplies.  She has presented numerous lectures on the topic at technical continuing education symposiums for water professionals, engineers and the legal profession, on college campuses and to local governments and the general public.  Her special research is the potentially contaminating constituents of the black shale waste stream and its potential impacts on public water supplies. She is a Fellow of the Ohio Academy of Science and has collected many awards for her life efforts including the Ohio Citizen Action”s Howard M. Metzenbaum Scientific Leadership Award and Ohio Senate 125th General Assembly of Ohio Certificate of Honor, 2003. She continues to serve as a scientific advisor to a number of local, regional and statewide governmental bodies and non-profit organizations.  Dr. Rice holds a BS in Earth Science Education, an MS in Geology and Mineralogy and a PhD in Soil Science, all from The Ohio State University. She is both a Certified Professional Geologist and a Certified Professional Soil Scientist. 


How a Longtime Elected Official Sees Ohio’s Legacy Needs Impacted by Fracking

James O’Reilly, Professor, University of Cincinnati, Author of The Law of Fracking

Professor Jim O’Reilly authored the definitive text on gas extraction, “The Law of Fracking”, for Thomson-Reuters in 2015. His 48 other texts and 200 published articles have examined waste handling, Superfund and chemical regulation. He teaches in the Environmental Health Department of the College of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati. He has been an elected city councilman for 13 years in suburban Cincinnati and serves on the executive committee of the OKI Regional Council of Governments.


Regulatory Loopholes & Environmental Implications for the Future

Attorney Jensen Silvis, FreshWater Accountability Project & Others

Jensen Silvis is an environmental lawyer from Akron, Ohio.  He received his BA in history with a minor in political science from Kent State University before attending law school at the University of Toledo. As a child, Jensen moved around the United States with his family following his father’s career as a ranger in the National Park Service. He became fascinated with the natural world and increasingly concerned about the state of the earth. Jensen graduated from law School in May 2015 and was thrilled to find employment with the FreshWater Accountability Project soon after passing the Ohio Bar Exam.


Toxic Secrets; Companies Exploit Weak US Chemical Rules to Hide Fracking Risks

Dusty Horwitt, Senior Counsel, Partnership for Policy Integrity

A veteran of energy policy, attorney Horwitt has used his experience in journalism, law and politics to conduct investigative research and advocacy on metal mining, oil and natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing. His work helped protect the Grand Canyon and Colorado River from uranium mining and the state of New York from unsafe shale gas drilling.  He has testified on metal mining reform before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources and the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.  He has testified on natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing before the New York City Council and local government panels in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Horwitt worked at Earthworks and Environmental Working Group as an analyst and senior counsel, as a reporter at the City News Bureau of Chicago and as a congressional staff member.  He graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in History and holds a J.D. from Georgetown University. He is a member of the Virginia State Bar.