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Speaker to address fracking impact

Profile image for By Rachel Mehlhaff / Staff Writer
By Rachel Mehlhaff / Staff Writer

Chemist Wilma Subra will speak about the possible health impacts of hydraulic fracturing and gas drilling today at the University of North Texas.

“She has been one of the leading voices for citizen-driven science,” said Adam Briggle, chairman of the Denton Stakeholder Drilling Advisory Group, which is hosting Subra.

Subra, who was featured in the 2010 documentary Gasland, was in the area for other meetings and happened to have some time in her schedule, said Briggle, who’s also a professor in the UNT Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies.

“Dr. Subra is a renowned environmental scientist who works tirelessly to help the public understand and combat the health effects of toxins in their environment,” Briggle said in an e-mail.

In 1999, Subra received a MacArthur Fellowship or “genius grant” for her environmental work. She was a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council and served as vice chairwoman of the EPA’s National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for Denton,” Briggle said.

The discussion will be timely, he said, especially with the gas drilling task force having ongoing meetings through the end of March. The task force is helping the city revise its drilling and production ordinance.

Briggle hopes members of the task force and the Denton City Council will join the general public to hear Subra and ask her questions.

Subra will speak from 3:30 to 5 p.m. today in Room 110 of the Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building, on the corner of West Hickory Street and Avenue C.

For more information, e-mail adam.briggle@unt.edu .

RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is rmehlhaff@dentonrc.com .