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Letter to the editor: Get smart on Hempfield chemical leak |
Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Get smart on Hempfield chemical leak

We were told the gas leaks on Dec. 17, 18 and yet again Dec. 19 were “nothing” to worry about ( “Chemical leak spreads strong gas smell in Hempfield,” Dec. 18, TribLIVE). Must we base the health of loved ones on the mere word of a gas company spokesperson who has a vested interest in keeping these events under wraps? We can do better.

A year ago, my organization, the Westmoreland Marcellus Citizens Group, petitioned county public safety officers to purchase cheap and easy-to-use canisters (e.g., Summa) that can be deployed quickly to measure suspicious air pollutants during emergencies so we can determine if, indeed, there is “nothing” to worry about. For example, we use machines to measure our blood pressure. We don’t rely solely on the doctor’s word. We use a tape measure to measure wood. We don’t rely on the seller’s word. But when industrial gases seep into our neighborhoods, we are expected to trust the word of the gas company.

Get the canisters and use measurable science.

J. Michael Atherton


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