A Wise County couple who sued Plano-based Aruba Petroleum, claiming that natural gas operations near their 40-acre ranch made them sick, received a $2.9 million jury verdict in Dallas County.
As reported by the Associated Press, the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project has been attempting to help people who feel they have been sickened by natural gas drilling or processing for about 18 months in a southern Pittsburgh county where nearly 700 natural gas wells have been drilled in the past six years. The study conducted, although not a full survey of the area, did uncover 27 cases in which people in Washington County believed they were hurt by nearby drilling. These injuries included skin rashes, eye irritation, breathing problems, headaches, and dizziness. These findings challenge the industry position that no one suffers but also suggests the issue may not be as wide spread as some critics claim.
According to the Associated Press, a group of New York landowners says they are laying the groundwork for a lawsuit against the State of New York if regulators miss a Feb. 27 deadline to complete rules for shale gas development. Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, told members on the coalition's website that the decision whether to release the regulations or let them expire is being made for purely political reasons. The class-action lawsuit would claim an illegal government "taking" under the Fifth Amendment, which says private property can't be taken for public use without just compensation. The State of New York has had a moratorium on gas drilling using horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, since an environmental impact study began in 2008.