By Linda Comins, The Intelligencer
WHEELING, W.Va. — An environmentalist and a physician, who spoke in Wheeling Tuesday, paint a dire picture of health impacts of the petrochemical industry, including oil and gas fracking and ethane cracker plants.
Matthew Mehalik, executive director of the Breathe Collaborative in Pittsburgh, and Dr. Ned Ketyer, a pediatrician from Washington County, Pennsylvania, addressed a large audience at Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library.
Wheeling is in the bull’s-eye for harmful effects from the petrochemical industry, Ketyer said, with fracking well pads expanding greatly and compressor stations growing rapidly in size and number.
Citing potential dangers of the industry, they said an ethane cracker plant now under construction in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, and proposed cracker plants in Belmont and Wood counties are expected to create significant negative health care impacts. …