Pennsylvania May Bar Doctors From Disclosing Fracking Dangers
A new report on Act 13, the Pennsylvania Impact Fee, says that a little known provision would allow doctors to request information on fracking health hazards from the state, but would not allow them to share that information with anyone — including their patients.
The report, featured in both Mother Jones and The Atlantic, notes Pennsylvania must disclose “the identity and amount of any chemicals used in fracking fluids to any health professional that requests that information in order to diagnosis or treat a patient that may have been exposed to a hazardous chemical,” but after that, it’s all, Trust me, I’m a doctor.
Senator Daylin Leach of Montgomery County is quoted in the piece, as well, noting that provision was not debated and added during conference between the two chambers of the Legislature.
The Corbett Administration denies any wrongdoing, saying Leach’s and others’ views of the law are inaccurate and doctors will be able to share the information with their patient, though may not be able to share the formula of the fracking fluids more broadly. However, the confidentiality agreements have not yet been drafted.
At the federal level, fracking fluid mixtures has been kept a secret from the public. The Obama EPA has asked drillers to release some of the information, voluntarily, but the industry has generally said no. Meanwhile, here is a preview of a movie featured at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference, which basically says, fracking is the greatest thing God has ever bestowed on mankind. Other than, like, a really good brownie.