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September 29, 2011

Colorado Families Demand Clean Air Safeguards

Downtown Denver was buzzing with concerned citizens ready to tell the EPA that they want clean air.  I was able to catch up with many Coloradans and hear their stories that they shared with anyone who was willing to listen and help.

Beach family, Colorado April Beach and her three young boys from Erie, Colorado made the hour-long trip into Denver to share how emissions from natural gas drilling are threatening their health.  Her boys love to play outside in their backyard, which is just a few hundred feet from a natural gas well.  Every day, harmful gas pollutants make their way out of industry vents and into her young boys’ lungs.

In her testimony, April mentioned that she reached out to the gas companies surrounding her home about the visible gas being dumped into her community.  The gas companies responded by saying the natural gas well was functioning properly.  After conducting her own research, April found the industry was burning off excess fracking fluid to save the gas.  “Save the gas,” she said. “What about the kids?”

April’s story and the many others shared in Denver today put a face and personality behind the need to clean up the natural gas industry.  As each day goes by, this industry will continue to dump harmful toxins into the air.  The sooner the EPA puts a strong safeguard in place, the sooner families, like the Beaches of Erie, Colorado, will be able to breathe easier.

The call for clean air continues this week as I’ll be heading south to Arlington, TX for the next EPA hearing.  Check back in tomorrow to hear more stories from those deeply affected by natural gas air pollution.

-- Jason Pitt, Sierra Club Natural Gas Reform Campaign.  Photo by Roger Singer.

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