One area that has received little to no comment or review is the psychosocial effects health effects this shale gas development will have on the physical and mental health of citizens where such development will occur. The specific health effect was identified in the Public Health Risk Assessment for the Irving Oil Refinery upgrade Dec 19 Sect 6.3 page 142 that defines this effect. According to the definitions in the literature it is my understanding that psychosocial impacts impact health and need to be addressed something I year the Commission to review and study.
The Brunswick Pipeline EIA assessment also acknowledges this type of health effect in their report. Negative effects on such factors have been called Psychosocial impacts and have been defined as: the complex od dysfunction, distress and disability which are manifested by a wide range of social, psychological and behavioural outcomes in individuals, groups, or communities as a consequence of actual or PERCEIVED environmental contamination (Taylor et al., 1997).
It is recognized perceptions of environmental pollution from various types of technologically complex facilities can have psychosocial impacts on the surrounding community (Richardson et al. 1997 Herdsman et al. 1987) as well as other researchers. The best examples have been measured near Three Mile Island nuclear reactor (Baume al. 1983). Essentially, "psychosocial impacts are implied to arise from the fear, anger, worry, anxiety and stress at the individual level with resulting alternations within the social network and isolation and stigmatization at the community level,” (Taylor et al 1997).
Psychosocial effects on health are believed to be related to stress reactions resulting from people being concerned about factors affecting their lives over which they do not appear to have any control.
It is well established that stress is an important factor in the occurrence of human disease, and that psychological factors can profoundly affect the development of and recovery from a range of human disease (CAR 1996).
This shale gas development with hydraulic fracturing is clearly causing such psychosocial impacts affecting the physical and mental health well being of thousands of citizens. I urge you to review this impact. It is clear over the last 3 years, or so, many citizens have and will continue to be impacted with hydraulic fracturing-shale gas dev. within the above definitions.
When you review the health impacts please include this area of impact that is well researched. There may be more current studies for you to review. I wanted to raise this issue before the Nov 20th deadline.
Last point there are ways and means to mitigate such effects referenced in that PHRA. I hope you can review such and identify additional ones should this shale gas development proceed.
For the public record, I am opposed to the development of the shale gas industry for many reasons including increase in GHG and other CAC emissions as well as these health impacts cited above.
Thank you for reviewing and addressing my identified area of concern.
Gordon W Dalzell Citizens Coalition For Clean Air, Saint John, NB