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May23,2016

TheHonorableTomWolf
GovernorofPennsylvania
TheOfficeoftheGovernor
508MainCapitolBuilding
Harrisburg,PA17120

DearGovernorWolf,

Oversixmonthsago,affectedresidentsandIdeliveredalettertoyourofficeinthePennsylvania
StateCapitolfrom
100organizationsfromacrossthiscountry
thataskedyoutohelp
Pennsylvanianswhohavemadefrackingrelatedhealthcomplaints,whichweresystematically
ignoredbythePennsylvaniaDepartmentofHealth(DOH)underGovernorCorbetts
administration.Theseorganizationsnotedthatnotonlyweretheresidentsexperiencinghealth
problemsbeingignored,butthattheDOHhadabuzzwordsmemoinstructingstaffnotto
speaktoresidentswhocalledandusedspecificwordsassociatedwithfrackingincluding
frackingchemicals,skinrash,hairfallingout,naturalgas,drilling,cancercluster
andadozenothers.Theirletteraswellas
aletterfromPennsylvanians
,
whohadcontactedDOH
duringtheCorbettAdministrationwithhealthcomplaintsandareaskingyouforhelp,havenot
receivedanyresponsesfromyourAdministration.

NowImwritingagain,toaskyoutohelptheresidents,whoaresickandneedhelp,andtoinvite
youtocomewithmetomeetwiththesefamiliesdirectlyimpactedbydrillingandfracking
operationsinNortheastandSouthwestPennsylvania,twoareasofyourstatethathavebeen
hardesthitbyfracking.GoingtoNortheastPennsylvaniaandtalkingtopeoplefirsthandin2010
iswhatmovedRobertKennedyJr.andmetogetinvolvedandhelpresidentsharmedby
frackingIhopeitwillinspireyoutodothesame.

Governmentofficials,journalists,scientists,andcitizensfromaroundtheworldover60
countrieshavemadethetriptoDimocktoseetheeffectsofdrillingandfracking,rightfully
seekingthatperspectivetoinformtheirdecisions.Yetyouhavenotmadethetriptomeetwith
thesefamiliesandseethedevastationcausedbyfracking.It'sashorttripfromHarrisburg,you
aretheGovernor,andyourconstituentsdeserveyourattentiontothisharrowingsituationand
youractiontoprovidereliefandmakethingsright.

Foralmostadecadenow,increasinglymorePennsylvaniaresidentsandfamilieshavebeenmade
sickfromdrillingandfrackingoperations.Fartoomanyhavesufferedheartwrenchingills,
becomingtheunconsentingvictimsoftheoilandgasindustry.Recently,ajuryunanimously
1

confirmedtheharminDimock,awardingtwofamilies$4.2millionindamages.Butsomany
morefamiliesareleftwithnothing,feelingunsafeintheirownhomes,livingwithpolluted
drinkingwaterandalarmingsymptomslikeheadaches,hairloss,nausea,asthmaandbreathing
problems,rashes,andnosebleeds.

Thisfall,IstoodwithresidentsintheCapitolRotundaasPennsylvanianresidentssharedtheir
storiesabouthowfrackinghascausedirreparableharmtotheirlivesforyearswithoutanyhelp
fromthestategovernmentdespitetheircallsandpleas.TheysaidthatastheirnewGovernor,
theywereaskingforyourassistance.RonGulla,alifelongresidentofWashingtonCountyin
SouthwesternPA,spokeforvariousfriendsandneighborswhohavebeenmadesickandlost
theirlivestocktocontaminationfromdrillingandfracking.LindaHeadley,alsofrom
southwesternPA,struggledtospeakforhowterribleshefeelsknowingthatshecannotprotect
herson,Adam,whohasbeenexperiencingstomachandotherhealthproblemssincefracking
industrializedthecountrysidearoundthem.RayKemble,aformergasworkerfromDimock,
spokeaboutthewatercontaminationandhealthimpactsheandhisneighborshaveexperienced
andwhichIhaveseeninDimockforyears.

ThenIwalkedwiththoseresidentsandmanyothersfromPennsylvaniatodeliveralettersigned
by100organizationsandcarriedboxeswithover30,000petitionsaskingyoutohelpresidents
sufferinghealthimpactsandharmsfromfracking.Yetinsteadofworkingtohelpyour
constituents,youhaverecklesslymovedahead.Sincethenyouhaveapprovedover1,000new
frackingpermitsacrossthestate.YouhavedonenothingtohelpPennsylvaniansharmedbythis
industry.Youhaveworkedhandinhandwiththeindustry,creatingthePipelineInfrastructure
TaskForce,thatincludedagroupofgovernmentofficialsfromyourAdministrationand
membersoftheoilandgasindustrytobuildpublicacceptanceandmakeiteasiertofasttrack
frackinginfrastructure.Finally,youhaveportrayedyourselfasaclimateleader,whichis
contradictedbyyoureffortstorampupfracking,buildnewinfrastructureandtherebyexacerbate
climatechange.

Thescienceisinonthisissueandyouhaveeveryreasontochangeyourcourse.SinceIfirst
visitedDimockin2010,thenanecdotalevidenceofwatercontaminationandhealthimpactshas
beenconfirmedbyempiricaldataintheformofover680peerreviewedstudiesfromleading
researchers.Afteryearsofreview,thatevidence,includingtheharmsinPennsylvania,ledNew
YorkStatetobanfracking,citingsignificantpublichealthimpacts.Manyhaveurgedyoutoread
the
NYSDepartmentofHealth'sreview
,aswellasthe
Compendiumofkeyscientificfindings
byPhysiciansforSocialResponsibilityandConcernedHealthProfessionalsofNY,anda
peerreviewedanalysisofthescience
byPhysicians,ScientistsandEngineersforHealthyEnergy
findingthatthegreatmajorityofsciencecontainsfindingsthatindicateconcernsforpublic
health,airqualityandwaterquality.ThePennsylvaniaDepartmentofEnvironmental
2

Protectionsowndatarevealhundredsofconfirmedcasesofwatercontamination.Thefederal
jury'sawardingfamilieswhohavesufferedforyearsinDimockisbutthelatestconfirmationof
harmfromdrillingandfrackinginPennsylvania.Evenmorerecently,apipelineexplosionin
WestmorelandCounty,PAservedasanalarmingreminderofthedangersofthisindustryand
gasinfrastructure,asdidnewsaboutpotentialfrackingrelatedearthquakesinthestate.

ManyaffectedPennsylvaniaresidentshavereachedouttoyouaskingyoutovisittheirhomes
andseethedamagefirsthand.Ultimately,theyareaskingthatyoutakeactiontohelpaffected
residentsandstoptheharmfromdrillingandfracking.Respectfully,it'sfarpasttimethatyoudo
so.WillyoujoinmeandaffectedresidentsinNortheasternandSouthwesternPennsylvaniato
seefirsthandwhatdrillingandfrackingaredoingtopeopleandcommunitiesinPennsylvania?

Sincerely,
MarkRuffalo