RESOLVE Releases Community Health and Shale Development Guidebook

Fills an “Information Gap” and Drills into Solutions for Communities, Government, and Industry

A 2013 Wall Street Journal analysis determined that over 15 million Americans now live within a mile of a shale well that has been drilled since 2000. As shale energy development, also known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” takes place in communities across the United States, local public health officials and other stakeholders are seeking guidance on the issues that could accompany development. In response to this information gap, RESOLVE has created the Community Health and Shale Development Guidebook (

“When shale development takes place, we should know what’s worked in other communities to address public health issues,” said Stephen D’Esposito, president of RESOLVE. “The guidebook is unique because it’s a project that draws from a broad range of stakeholders—health experts, companies, communities, NGOs, and others to share lessons.”

The guidebook provides information on health issues throughout the lifecycle of the shale development process from initial assessment to project closure; it is uniquely positioned to be a valuable source of information for those unfamiliar with the process. Shaped by the insights of a cross-sector working group consisting of members from the National Association of Country and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the Pew Trusts Health Impact Assessment Project, and Shell Oil Company – as well as by contributions from expert advisors and reviewers from the public health, NGO, and industry sectors – the guidebook offers options for responding to challenges, case studies of solutions that have worked, and a set of in-depth resources from a variety of perspectives.

According to David Dyjack, executive director of the National Environmental Health Association, “The Community Health and Shale Development Guidebook represents what is possible when industry, the public sector, and non-profits collaborate. The result is a practical, useful, and resource-rich guidance document helpful in the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of the risks associated with the energy sector.”

Beyond providing information and options for local decision-makers, the guidebook will be used to inform the design of trainings and educational materials for public health officials. Launched as both a print and web-based resource, the guidebook will be accessible for all stakeholders, and will be regularly updated with information and case studies.
RESOLVE project director Dana Goodson said, “We are excited by the positive reception the guidebook received during the review workshops, and we are hopeful that it will serve as a valuable resource for local officials, community members, and industry representatives. We look forward to continuing to work with a variety of stakeholders to find solutions to challenges in shale development and to develop future versions of the guidebook.”

To view the guidebook in web and PDF versions, visit
For more information, please contact:
Dana Goodson – Project Director
(+1) 202- 965-6209
RESOLVE builds strong, enduring solutions to environmental, social, and health challenges. We help community, business, government, and NGO leaders get results and create lasting relationships through collaboration. RESOLVE is an independent non-profit organization with a thirty-eight year track record of success.

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