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Wyoming’s smog exceeds Los Angeles’ due to gas drilling

April 4, 2011

A large part of our concerned focus to date has been on the potential ground water and drinking water pollution that is becoming more and more evident from unconventional natural gas hydraulic fracking development.  It’s equally as important to look at the air pollution effects from this industrial process and start to really put together a true cumulative impact big picture.

Gas drilling rigs in Western Wyoming's Upper Green River Basin. Ozone levels in early 2011 exceeded the worst days in major U.S. cities in 2009. Local residents complain of runny eyes, nosebleeds and shortness of breath and say the air is hazy. (Source: Mead Gruver, Associated Press)

The natural gas boom out in Wyoming has created a situation where air quality at times has measured worse than Los Angeles on it’s worst days.

Is economic prosperity with low unemployment and Government budget surpluses worth the trade off of the environmental and health risks?

“Residents who live near the gas fields in the state’s western corner are complaining of watery eyes, shortness of breath and bloody noses, reports the Associated Press. The cause is clearer than the air: local ozone levels recently exceeded the highest levels recorded in the biggest U.S. cities last year.”

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