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How close is too close?

We Need Room to Breathe

Shale gas and petrochemical infrastructure has been harming the health of Pennsylvania residents for years. Simply put, these industrial projects are being built far too close to where people live, work, and gather. It’s past time for the state to update its outdated laws and protect our health with greater protective buffer distances. 

Our Health & Safety Depends On It

Pollution from natural gas and petrochemical infrastructure is spoiling the air we breathe and water we drink, harming the health and wellbeing of Pennsylvania residents. Living near infrastructure puts people at risk for asthma and has even caused congenital

heart defects. 

These are the kinds risks that we're exposed to when infrastructure is built too close to where live and work.

You can download this factsheet by clicking it.

Print some out and share them with your neighbors!

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Photo credit: Ted Auch, FracTracker Alliance, 2019. Aerial support provided by LightHawk.

500 Hundred Feet is Too Close

Since 2012, state law has allowed well pads to be built as close as 500 feet from residential buildings, while allowing compressor stations to be built only 750 feet away from an existing building. There are no setback distances (which we call Protective Buffers) for how far power plants and pipelines are allowed to be built from buildings and waterways. 

Over the past 9 years, pipelines have exploded and leaked drilling fluid into drinking water sources. Small towns with fracking pads have lost loved ones to rare forms of cancer. Everyday, Pennsylvania residents are paying for these outdated laws with their health, while oil and gas companies aren't even paying a severance tax

We need more distance between us and infrastructure. We need Protective Buffers. 

Click here to download our Protective Buffer factsheet to print and share with your neighbors. 

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Leading at the Local Level

A number of Pennsylvania municipalities, including Oakmont Borough, Bell Acres Borough, and Smith Township, have all adopted Protective Buffers that offer more protection than the state law offers, as well as other protections that have similar effects. Oakmont adopted a Protective Buffer of 2,000 feet between unconventional oil/gas wells and any lot or parcel of ground located in residential zoning districts. In addition, Mt Pleasant Township in Washington County has a Protective Buffer of 2,500 feet for compressor stations and processing plants from schools. We need these protections at the state level. 

Photo citation: Ted Auch, FracTracker Alliance, 2020.