Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says his administration will spend $3 million on a pair of studies to explore the potential health impacts of the natural gas industry.
Wolf is taking action after months of impassioned pleas by the families of pediatric cancer patients who live in the most heavily drilled region of the state. Dozens of children and young adults have been diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma and other forms of cancer in a four-county area outside Pittsburgh.
Ewing has no known environmental cause, but the families have been pressing the Wolf administration for an investigation into any possible link between this extremely rare form of bone cancer and shale gas development.
Wolf says the research will address “the concern that there is a relationship between hydraulic fracturing and childhood cancers.”