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Lagging and Flagging: Air Pollution, Shale Gas Exploration and the Interaction of Policy, Science, Ethics and Environmental Justice in England
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Shale Gas Development and Community Distress: Evidence from England

1
Department of Social Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST, UK
2
Healthy Living, Department of Social Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8S, UK
3
Human Rights Consortium, School of Advanced Study, University of London, London WC1E 7HU, UK
4
Department of Sociology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078-4062, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5069; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145069
Received: 10 June 2020 / Revised: 6 July 2020 / Accepted: 8 July 2020 / Published: 14 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Shale Gas and Fracking: Impacts on Health and the Environment)
This research examines psychosocial stress associated with shale gas development through the narratives of residents and the Revised Impact of Event Scale (IES-R). We carried out our research in three of England’s communities impacted by shale gas development. To gather data, we conducted qualitative interviews and engaged in participant observation in all three communities and conducted a quantitative survey of residents. From our qualitative interviews it was apparent that the residents we spoke with experienced significant levels of stress associated with shale gas development in each community. Importantly, residents reported that stress was not only a reaction to development, but a consequence of interacting with industry and decision makers. Our quantitative findings suggest that a significant portion of residents 14.1% living near the shale gas sites reported high levels of stress (i.e., scoring 24 or more points) even while the mean IES-R score of residents living around the site is relatively low (i.e., 9.6; 95% CI 7.5–11.7). We conclude that the experiences, of the three English communities, reported in the qualitative interviews and quantitative survey are consistent with the reports of stress in the United States for those residents who live in shale gas communities. We therefore suggest that psychosocial stress is an important negative externality, which needs to be taken seriously by local planning officers and local planning committees when considering exploration and development permits for shale gas. View Full-Text
Keywords: shale gas; hydraulic fracturing; fracking; mental health; stress; impact of events scale shale gas; hydraulic fracturing; fracking; mental health; stress; impact of events scale
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MDPI and ACS Style

Aryee, F.; Szolucha, A.; Stretesky, P.B.; Short, D.; Long, M.A.; Ritchie, L.A.; Gill, D.A. Shale Gas Development and Community Distress: Evidence from England. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5069. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145069

AMA Style

Aryee F, Szolucha A, Stretesky PB, Short D, Long MA, Ritchie LA, Gill DA. Shale Gas Development and Community Distress: Evidence from England. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(14):5069. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145069

Chicago/Turabian Style

Aryee, Feizel; Szolucha, Anna; Stretesky, Paul B.; Short, Damien; Long, Michael A.; Ritchie, Liesel A.; Gill, Duane A. 2020. "Shale Gas Development and Community Distress: Evidence from England" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 14: 5069. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145069

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