New Pennsylvania Bill Would Allow Doctors to Share Fracking Dangers
A recent report on Act 13, the Pennsylvania Impact Fee, noted a little-known state provision which allowed doctors to get information on fracking fluids from the state and their potential dangers—but did not allow them to share that information with anyone, including their patients.
That Act’s language has been the source of some controversy since detailed articles were released in both Mother Jones and The Atlantic. Those reports said the state of 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,” and then, well, forever hold your peace, Doc.
We last detailed that controversy here, which the Corbett Administration, House and Senate leadership, have denied is relevant or true.
Sen. Daylin Leach of Montgomery County isn’t taking any chances. He plans to introduce a bill that would “create a clearer and more comprehensive definition for the “medical necessity” exemption under which drilling companies must immediately provide information requested if a health care professional can show the details are relevant to treatment or diagnosis of a patient” and remove the confidentiality agreement clause for health professionals in the Act.
Environmentalists and some health professionals believe fracking chemicals can pollute drinking water and are essentially poisonous. The fracking industry says there’s no proof. And under Pennsylvania law, “the state DEP will maintain a registry that includes a list of chemicals and the amounts used in fracking fluid including “trade secret” information, and oversee health care worker access to it.”