In this edition of our newsletter, we are sharing some events that you won't want to miss if you are concerned with air and water quality, the fracking/petrochemical/plastics industry and Appalachia. All of the events are virtual and many of them are happening this week. The downside to virtual events is that we are not able to see one another and connect in person. The upside is we can attend in the comfort of our own homes - even in pajamas!
Join Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project tomorrow, Tuesday, September 15 at 7PM for part two of their three-part webinar series about shale gas development and cancer.
For part two of the series, Dr. Shaina Stacy will discuss "Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Childhood Cancers."
Dr. Shaina Stacy is a postdoctoral associate at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, where she investigates early life and environmental risk factors for childhood cancers. She received her Ph.D. and M.P.H. from Pitt Public Health's Department of Environmental & Occupational Health.
The Toxic Story of Plastics with Dr. Randi Pokladnik
Via Zoom, the Dover (Ohio) Public Library will host a program about the toxicity of plastics featuring Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition volunteer Dr. Randi Pokladnik, an expert in environmental studies.
With her “The Toxic Story of Plastics” presentation, Randi will explain the life cycle of plastic production and follow plastics from cradle to grave, examining all the externalities involved and how plastics affect human health and the environment.
Wednesday, September 16th
To register for the program, send an email to email@example.com. You will receive a link to join the group for the presentation.
The “life cycle” of plastic is a complicated one. In the beginning oil and gas must be extracted from the earth and refined. This material is then used to manufacture products for human consumption such as furniture, bottles, tires, to name a few. After the plastic has been used, it ends up in the waste-management system (recycling) or in the environment (landfills or oceans). No matter what stage of life the plastic is in, human beings are exposed to toxic chemicals.
Plastics and related chemicals enter people’s bodies through inhalation, ingestion and skin contact. These chemicals and particles of plastic affect every major system in the body: cardiovascular, reproductive, neurological, respiratory, gastrointestinal and endocrine.
Beaver County, PA Events
The next event series listed here kicks off this Wednesday and it is titled Health and Safety in Beaver County, hosted by Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Community, or BCMAC. These are folks who live near the Shell ethane cracker being constructed in Beaver County, PA. This Wednesday's event features expert presentations on air monitoring and emergency systems and will surely become a resource.
And please help spread the word by sharing the link bit.ly/beavercounty2020
BCMAC Event #1. Air Monitoring and Emergency Systems
The kick-off event for the Health & Safety in Beaver County series will discuss air monitoring systems in the region, citizen experiences and emergency management systems designed to keep the public safe.
Don't miss the panel of experts and important discussion!
Wednesday, September 16th, 7:00pm
Welcome and Overview: Bob Schmetzer
Moderator: Sr. Kari
Citizen Experiences: Karen Gdula and Barbara Goblick, Marcia Lehman/Chlorine Fire
Air Monitoring Overview: Ana Hoffman, Carnegie Mellon University
Shell Fenceline Monitoring: Adam Kron, Environmental Integrity Project and Karl Koerner, Clean Air Council
Citizen Tools: Mark Dixon (Purple Air, RAMP, AirVis VOC, Summa canisters)
Emergency Response: Eric Brewer, Beaver Emergency Management
Live Panel with Public Q&A: Sr. Kari
Tackling the A-Z Impacts of Plastic Summit
For the last several months, we have explored the impacts of plastic production on health, the environment, climate, and economics. Now, we are wrapping up our summer digital series with a final, four-day summit in September that includes a film screening, panel discussion, art build, and more. The schedule for our fall summit includes the following:
Thursday, September 17: Analysis and discussion of the film "The Story of Plastic" with director Stiv Wilson
Friday, September 18: Healing HeARTS Night, including entertainment, music, and an art build
Saturday, September 19: Panel discussion to discuss strategies and solutions to plastic pollution
Sunday, September 20: International Day of Peace social media solidarity action and Zoom
Register for the event series here. Registering for the event series gets you a full description with times/dates for all events and reminders before they start.
Share with friends the Facebook event page here.
BCMAC Event #2: Water Monitoring and Drinking Water Safety
This event will address Water Monitoring and Drinking Water Safety, including the work of ORSANCO, West Virginia University, Riverkeeper, and other groups to monitor the Ohio River and its tributaries, and the work of our water authorities to keep our drinking water safe.
Wednesday, September30th, 7:00pm
Welcome and Overview: Bob Schmetzer
Moderator: Sr. Kari
ORSANCO Water Monitoring: Richard Harrison, Exec. Director of ORSANCO
3 Rivers Quest/Ohio River/Beaver Monitoring: Melissa O’Neal, WVU
Water Pollution and Radioactivity: Dr. John Stolz
Citizen Actions: Eric Harder (Mt. Watershed) ALLARM stream monitoring, Nurdle Patrol, Waterkeeper update
Legislative Update: Sara Innamorato
3. The Story of Plastic, Student Film Screening
Wednesday, October 14th, 6:00pm
The Story of Plastic takes a sweeping look at the man-made crisis of plastic pollution and the worldwide effect it has on the health of our planet and the people who inhabit it. Spanning three continents, the film illustrates the ongoing catastrophe and distills a complex problem that is increasingly affecting the planet.
New think tank welcomed to the Ohio Valley
In our last newsletter, we introduced the new think-tank/research organization called the Ohio River Valley Institute. We have already been using their research in our communications with politicians/community leaders as we advocate for a better vision for the Ohio Valley. We encourage everyone to read their work and share it widely. This initiative is very important and could have a huge positive impact on Appalachia. Here is their latest edition of the newsletter. It features research on why the economic impacts of an Appalachian petrochemical buildout won’t meet expectations, the challenge of