Albuquerque, NM — On June 15, a coalition of groups released OilAndGasThreatMap.com, a new tool that maps the locations of the 58,777 oil and gas facilities operating in New Mexico and the populations, schools and hospitals within a half-mile radius of those facilities.
Peer-reviewed science shows that living near polluting oil and gas facilities is associated with negative health impacts, including fetal defects and respiratory ailments.
“The oil and gas industry is recklessly leaking millions of tons of methane pollution and toxic chemicals such as such as benzene, formaldehyde & ethylbenzene into the air, harming our health and speeding climate disruption,” said Camilla Feibelman, director of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club. “These industrial leaks are like an invisible oil spill happening every day. That pollution can have devastating health impacts on the communities surrounding oil and gas development.”
“In New Mexico, more than 145,608 people live in areas within a half-mile of oil and gas facilities that are associated with negative health impacts, including fetal defects and respiratory ailments. Doing nothing and continuing to put those people at risk is not acceptable,” said Dr. Mac Bowen. “Safeguards are urgently needed to protect the public from existing sources of methane and other air pollution. The Obama administration recently finalized the first national standard for new sources of methane pollution from the oil and gas industry, and we stand ready to work with them to finalize a standard for existing sources as well.”
The Oil and Gas Threat Map displays information about those living within half a mile of oil and gas facilities in New Mexico and other states (New Mexico: Total population at risk: 145,608. Total number of affected schools: 89). Although scientific literature shows that health impacts are also associated at distances greater than 1/2 mile, we conservatively use the distance at which these impacts have been most clearly correlated. The Oil and Gas Threat Map will also display data about the risk of increased cancer and respiratory health rates at the county level. In addition to the data that the Oil and Gas Threat Map presents, users can enter their own address to see if they live in a threat zone.
To access the map, visit http://oilandgasthreatmap.com/
A webinar for citizens interested in learning more about the map will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 21. Those interested can register for the event at http://www.
CONTACT: Camilla Feibelman, 505-715-8388, camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.
For a recording of the webinar click here. Click here to RSVP for community webinar at 7 p.m. June 21.
Map provided by oilandgasthreatmap.com