Previous Synergy Session Public Policy Forums

The Facts About Fracking: An Engineering Perspective (Greenwood Inn & Suites, Corner Brook, NL, January 30, 2014) While the economic benefits of fracking are well known, there exists much controversy over its social and environmental costs. Fracking has been blamed for poisoning the groundwater, polluting the surface water and the air around wells, siphoning scarce drinking water during the drilling process, and even causing earthquakes. What are the facts about fracking? How does it work and what are the impacts on the earth’s crust and on groundwater? What are the risks to surface water and the ambient air? Are the risks different between shale oil and shale gas? Are there mitigating factors that might make fracking safer for humans and the environment? What is the role of government in regulating fracking?

Are the Places We Work, Live, and Play Making Us Sick? (Bruneau Centre, Memorial University, St. John's, NL, October 22, 2014) Dr. Karen Lee, Senior Advisor to the Built Environment & Healthy Housing Program at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and Adjunct Professor at the school of Public Health at the University of Toronto and the University of Alberta, along with Dr. Catherine Donovan, Associate Professor of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfound-land and a Clinical Associate Medical Officer for Eastern Health, presented on an increasing body of evidence that shows that the places where we live, study, work and play—our built environ-ments—have a significant impact on our health. The design of our homes, schools, offices, towns and public spaces can make us sick, or make us well.


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