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Arkansas Mom Calls for Moral Response to Community Health Problems

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Arkansas Mom April Lane
April Lane made sure to wear her Arkansas Razorbacks shirt on the day she was having her picture taken for a news article.  She’s proud of her Ozarks heritage, is president of the Environmental Alliance at the University of Central Arkansas where she attends, and wants to raise a healthy family with her husband, Sam.  Lane showed me one of the buckets that she and other residents have been trained to use for testing the air in their community north of Little Rock.

Many have experienced strange symptoms and health concerns since hydraulic fracturing has transformed the place they live into what seems like one big industrial park.  Lane says nausea, nose bleeds and rashes are happening to multiple people.  The Lanes are already raising a young son, very concerned about air and water quality for him and other children in the area.  Locally, the Lanes helped organize and participate in the Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group.  They were glad to get support from Global Community Monitor in the form of the air testing buckets. 

As a concerned citizen, Lane has learned to arm herself with facts in order to make the case for good community health. She also believes there’s a moral obligation to make sure that an industry like fracking is safe for everyone.  “It’s harming the environment, but more than this being an environmental issue, it’s a human health issue, this is a civil rights issue.”  She hopes that scientists’ analysis of the air sampling data will help answer some health questions and provide evidence if needed for cleaning up the air.

I asked Lane if her relentless drive to improve her community health is, at least in part, a faith issue.  She answered, “Yes, it’s absolutely a faith issues, I’m a Christian. I’ve attended a small congregation for most of my life.  As Christians we’re instructed to take care and be good stewards of this earth.  For me it’s looking at all these issues and the people who’ve been negatively affected, and knowing that God expects me to do something about this.  I cannot just stand by and turn a blind eye, because I’ll be held accountable for it, I firmly believe that.”
Ultimately, Lane hopes that the Bucket Brigade information and wider awareness of problems in her community will lead people to make more responsible decisions about fracking.  She hopes people will realize the impacts on families just like theirs.  “They’ll look at their own children and they’ll look at their own families, and they’ll say if this were happening to us, if that were my child, if that were my family, being negatively impacted, I would do something  about it, I would care.”

*Arkansas Bucket Brigade
*Pending Permit Allows Fracking Wastewater in Arkansas Streams
*Arkansas Fracking Jobs and Human Costs
*Arkansas Community Watchdogs Concerned

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