RIDGWAY – Three panelists will speak on the medical and environmental effects of gas and oil drilling, including hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), at an upcoming Ridgway Ouray Community Council Talk on Thursday, Oct. 17 at the Ridgway Town Hall.
The ROCC-sponsored event, titled “Community Impacts from Oil and Gas Drilling,” is free and open to the public.
Fracking is a natural gas extraction technique in which chemicals, sand and water are injected into wells.
Panelists include Dr. James Kornberg, MD., who will address the impact of gas and oil drilling on human health; Jim Ramey, Director of Citizens for a Healthy Community, who will discuss how extraction processes affect public lands and air quality; and Lisa Bracken, who lives among gas wells in Garfield County, and will describe her community’s experiences with water contamination, health problems, and wildlife degradation.
Kornberg is a board-certified Occupational and Environmental Medicine physician with a doctorate from Harvard University in Environmental Health Sciences and Engineering. He earned his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School. Dr. Kornberg is president and medical director of COHBI Physicians, P.C., a Colorado professional corporation through which he offers OEM consulting.
Ramey manages the day-to-day operations of Citizens for a Healthy Community, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the Delta County region from irresponsible oil and gas development. He received his master’s degree in public administration from Ohio State University and has worked for Ohio’s state legislature as a policy and budget analyst. He also has worked for county and federal governmental agencies and an environmental research center.
Bracken has been researching and documenting the impacts of onshore natural gas extraction since 2002. She will offer a first-hand account of the toll a natural gas blow-out has taken on her West Divide Creek neighborhood near Silt, Colo. Investigations revealed that benzene, a carcinogen, and methane seeped into the creek. Bracken works with communities and organizations throughout the country to educate citizens about the impacts of unmitigated oil and gas operations on neighborhoods.
ROCC offers half-price memberships for those who join the organization at ROCC Talk events. ROCC Talks are usually held the third Thursday of even-numbered months, with the exception of November 2013, when ROCC will present a panel discussion on the Affordable Health Care Act, including an overview of Colorado health insurance exchanges.
The Ridgway-Ouray Community Council is a nonprofit community organization whose mission is to build, nourish and protect the healthy spirit of our community. ROCC is dedicated to quality-of-life issues that will help shape the future of Ouray County.
Doors open Thursday, Oct. 17 at 6:45 p.m. for refreshments and socializing, and the panel discussion begins at 7 p.m. A question-and-answer session with the panelists will follow the presentations. Hand-outs regarding oil and gas wells in Ouray County and information on stringent new fracking legislation passed by the State of Illinois will be available.