Broomfield officials and residents gathered Thursday evening to review the results of the survey of Broomfield’s health symptoms and proximity to active oil and gas sites at several wells at a community meeting.
Led by Dr. Meagan Weisner, senior environmental epidemiologist for Broomfield, and Dr. Lisa McKenzie, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, 3,993 randomly selected households in Broomfield received surveys their asking to participate by ranking health symptoms that could be related to oil and gas, as well as concerns related to living near oil and gas sites from October 2021 to December 2021.
In total, the study received participation results of approximately 10%, with 427 total respondents, some within 1 mile of unconventional oil and gas development (UOGD), some within 2 miles and the rest outside 2 miles.
The overall objective of this survey was to determine whether residents living near UOGD sites in the City and County of Broomfield experience a greater frequency of health symptoms than residents living further away.
Survey respondents within 1 mile of a UOGD site in Broomfield reported significantly higher frequencies of upper and acute respiratory symptoms than respondents living more than 2 miles from UOGD sites, according to key findings mentioned during Of the reunion. Respondents living within 2 miles of a UOGD site also reported that their children had significantly higher frequencies of lower respiratory, gastrointestinal, and acute response symptoms than those living farther away. Among all respondents, regardless of distance, the level of concern about odors, noise, and air pollution impacted the frequency of reported symptoms.
Weisner said the team is currently working to have the study peer reviewed and published in a journal, however, currently the study and results are still in their early stages and may not be available. never published. Weisner said she had been in contact with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to discuss the study, but had no heard the response from the CDPHE only on Thursday.
Weisner acknowledged that this study does not prove any causation of the symptoms, meaning the symptoms cannot be directly linked to proximity to oil and gas. He can only say that individuals living in the far band reported higher frequencies than those outside, but cannot divulge a cause.
The full manuscript of the study has not yet been published due to the possibility of “jeopardizing the integrity of the study and its potential for publication”.
William Allison of FTI Consulting, a representative of Civitas, the Broomfield oil and gas developer, wrote in a blog post on Energy In Depth that the study “ignored the impacts of COVID-19 and other local economic activities, hinged on incomplete information and was likely plagued by perception bias,” which Broomfield officials acknowledged as a possibility of bias.
The presenters also acknowledged that COVID-19 was not the focus of the study and no questions regarding COVID-19 were asked in the survey.
“From an industry perspective, it’s difficult to comment on what the results find because so little has been published,” said Matt Dempsey, senior managing director of FTI Consulting, urging Broomfield to release the full manuscript to the public. .
Full survey results and updates on the study and publication process can be found on Broomfield Voice.