State invites online environmental health concerns



(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania residents concerned about a connection between adverse health effects and environmental factors can now submit complaints online.

In the wake of a recent state-commissioned report from the University of Pittsburgh that investigated a possible link between cancer, asthma and natural gas development, the Department of Health said the online complaint form will guide residents through the process and make it easier for the state to respond.

The study follows a 2020 grand jury report that accused both the departments of Health and Environmental Protection of ignoring residents in southwestern Pennsylvania communities in favor of natural gas companies.

The agencies denied the complaints and requested a more thorough investigation through the university, though no correlation was found between childhood leukemia and brain and bone cancers.

The elevated risks for asthma complications and lymphoma were also inconclusive, according to the report.

Still, the department said it will be a resource for residents’ concerns, with scientists long invested in environmental health issues before unconventional gas wells proliferated across the state a decade ago.

Since the form launched Aug. 11, the department said it received 53 complaints. All submissions are voluntary.



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