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RESEARCH PRIORITIES FOR UNDERSTANDING
George M. Hornberger
Vanderbilt University
Chair, HEI Energy Committee
1
UNCONVENTIO...
Overview of Presentation
1. The Health Effects Institute (HEI)
2. HEI’s Energy Research Program
3. Literature Review: Pote...
HEI: a Public-Private Partnership for Research since
1980
• Independent, nonprofit corporation.
• Chartered to provide pol...
4
• Onshore development and
production of oil and natural gas
from shale and other “tight”
formations
• Began around start...
HEI Energy Research Program
5
PURPOSE
Address important knowledge gaps about potential
population exposures and health eff...
Governance of the Energy Research Program
• Modeled directly after the one HEI has used for 35 years to
answer questions a...
HEI Energy Research Committee
7
HEI Energy Research Committee Scope
8
Development and Production
(in the production area: well pad
operations and associat...
Vision for a Multi-Year Energy Research Program
Plan for Research
• Health and Exposure
Literature Review &
Exposure Resea...
Literature Reviews
10
Approach to literature review and research
planning
1. Develop a good understanding of UOGD operations
across regions and ...
12
Well tour in Weld County, July 10, 2018
Developing a good understanding of UOGD
Literature Review Questions
13
Health Literature:
Are there adverse human health effects associated
with environmental exp...
Energy Research Committee
interacted with stakeholders at
workshops
- January 2018 in Boston, MA,
- July 2018 in Denver, ...
Health Literature Review
focuses on analytical
epidemiology studies
The report will:
1. Describe the strengths and limitat...
16
UOGD Analytical
Epidemiology Studies
Shale Play
Retrospective Cohort
Case-Control
Cross-Sectional
Ecological
Study Desi...
Systematic Literature Review
Approach
17
1. Define the
review question
2. Develop study
inclusion and
exclusion criteria
3...
Epidemiology Studies Use Exposure Surrogates
18
Metric Title Description
Earthquakes USGS-recorded earthquakes ≥4 in magni...
19
Epidemiology studies assess a range of
health outcomes*
*Often
measured
differently
across studies
Perinatal effects, e...
Summary of Reported Associations:
Birth Weight (measured as a continuous variable)
20
Example of results (as reported by i...
Epidemiology: Preliminary Takeaways
• The body of literature represents a serious effort to
understand potential health ef...
Suggestions for Filling Research Gaps
• Improved characterization
of UOGD exposures:
• Quantitative measures
that differen...
The report will:
1. Frame what is known about potential human exposures in
a conceptual model;
2. Offer recommendations fo...
24
Number of air monitoring or modeling studies reviewed.
25
Number of water monitoring or modeling studies reviewed.
Number of Studies by Chemical Agent
26
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
Black Carbon Brine Metals Nitrogen Oxides Ozone P...
5
1
0
Water-related
Air-related
Occupational
6
Colorado
Texas
Pennsylvania,
New York, &
Ohio
1
2
3
6
1
1
1
7
1
8
9
1
0
1
1...
Exposure: Preliminary Takeaways
• In the 21st century UOGD took off: surprisingly large body
of literature
• Concerns are ...
Exposure: Preliminary Takeaways
• Source attribution
• UOGD vs OGD
• UOGD vs traffic and other sources
• Variability
• Tem...
Research Planning
30
Recommendations from Workshop Participants
Research Priorities
- Study community-based
exposures
- Capture heterogeneity
-...
Preliminary Ideas from Energy Research Committee
• The overarching goal: Identify the full spatial and temporal
range of h...
• Use-inspired research: Informs policy
decisions being made now and in the future.
• Research Team:
– Includes the full r...
• Helps to Define Probability of
Exposure:
• Spatial and temporal extent of exposure from
permitted, accidental, and unaut...
Anticipated Attributes of Funded Research
• Source Apportionment:
– Distinguishes among exposures during different
UOGD ph...
Next Steps
36
Next Steps in the Committee’s Review
• Exposure literature review and identification of research to address
important gaps...
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Research Priorities for Understanding Potential Population-Level Exposures to Unconventional Oil and Gas Development

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Presentation by George M. Hornberger (Vanderbilt University) at the ORAU 74th Annual Meeting of the Council of Sponsoring Institutions

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Research Priorities for Understanding Potential Population-Level Exposures to Unconventional Oil and Gas Development

  1. 1. RESEARCH PRIORITIES FOR UNDERSTANDING George M. Hornberger Vanderbilt University Chair, HEI Energy Committee 1 UNCONVENTIONAL OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL POPULATION-LEVEL EXPOSURES TO Time Magazine, April 2011
  2. 2. Overview of Presentation 1. The Health Effects Institute (HEI) 2. HEI’s Energy Research Program 3. Literature Review: Potential Human Exposures and Health Effects 4. Research Planning 5. Next Steps and Opportunities for Involvement 2
  3. 3. HEI: a Public-Private Partnership for Research since 1980 • Independent, nonprofit corporation. • Chartered to provide policy-relevant, impartial science. • Does not advocate. • Funded jointly by government and industry and, frequently, other public and private organizations in the United States and around the world. 3
  4. 4. 4 • Onshore development and production of oil and natural gas from shale and other “tight” formations • Began around start of 21st century • Horizontal drilling combined with multistage hydraulic fracturing • Practices evolving UOGD Defined Photo courtesy of Schlumberger
  5. 5. HEI Energy Research Program 5 PURPOSE Address important knowledge gaps about potential population exposures and health effects associated with the onshore development of oil and natural gas from unconventional geologic formations (UOGD)
  6. 6. Governance of the Energy Research Program • Modeled directly after the one HEI has used for 35 years to answer questions about air quality and health. • Key elements: – Energy Research Committee oversees impartial, policy-relevant literature reviews, research planning, and original research. – Energy Review Committee provides independent peer review of original research overseen by the Energy Research Committee. – All work is conceived, implemented, and peer-reviewed independently from sponsors of the research program. – HEI engages with stakeholders during research planning and implementation and shares all data. 6
  7. 7. HEI Energy Research Committee 7
  8. 8. HEI Energy Research Committee Scope 8 Development and Production (in the production area: well pad operations and associated facilities, such as compressors, processing facilities, gathering flowlines, development-related waste management) Manufacturing, Refining and Petrochemicals Wholesale & Marketing Transportation, Processing, Storage, and Distribution Supporting Industries Adapted from: https://twitter.com/lonadekinc/status/841619169510604800 UOGD
  9. 9. Vision for a Multi-Year Energy Research Program Plan for Research • Health and Exposure Literature Review & Exposure Research Planning • Define knowledge gaps that merit research Communicate Research  Publication of Literature Reviews and Original Research  Maybe further Exposure or Health Studies Conduct Research  Population-Level Multimedia (e.g., air and water) Exposure Studies in Multiple U.S. Regions Engage with a broad range of stakeholders at key decision points Periodically update literature reviews
  10. 10. Literature Reviews 10
  11. 11. Approach to literature review and research planning 1. Develop a good understanding of UOGD operations across regions and over time 2. Define literature review questions 3. Solicit information and recommendations from a broad range of stakeholders at three workshops 4. Gather and extract information from the health and exposure literature, including peer-reviewed and gray literature and other data sources, to understand the potential for UOGD-specific exposure and health effects 5. Define exposure research priorities for funding (and later, if merited by exposure findings, health research)
  12. 12. 12 Well tour in Weld County, July 10, 2018 Developing a good understanding of UOGD
  13. 13. Literature Review Questions 13 Health Literature: Are there adverse human health effects associated with environmental exposures originating directly from UOGD? Exposure Literature: What is known about potential UOGD-related human exposures?
  14. 14. Energy Research Committee interacted with stakeholders at workshops - January 2018 in Boston, MA, - July 2018 in Denver, CO, and - September 2018 in Austin, TX Participants from: - Federal and state government - Industry - Academia - Environmental and public health nongovernmental organization - Community organizations 14 Stakeholder Input at Three Workshops
  15. 15. Health Literature Review focuses on analytical epidemiology studies The report will: 1. Describe the strengths and limitations of the literature 2. Offer recommendations for research to fill important knowledge gaps, and 3. Build on previous UOGD and health reviews. Anticipated release date: Spring 2019 (as a final report) 15
  16. 16. 16 UOGD Analytical Epidemiology Studies Shale Play Retrospective Cohort Case-Control Cross-Sectional Ecological Study Design Perinatal Cancer Respiratory Cardiovascular Symptoms Other Outcome Assessed
  17. 17. Systematic Literature Review Approach 17 1. Define the review question 2. Develop study inclusion and exclusion criteria 3. Search the literature 4. Select studies to be reviewed 5. Review and summarize individualstudies 6. Assess the quality of individualstudies using criteria defined a priori 7. Summarize the study assessments 8. Qualitatively assess confidence in body of evidence 9. Identify knowledge gaps and propose research needs
  18. 18. Epidemiology Studies Use Exposure Surrogates 18 Metric Title Description Earthquakes USGS-recorded earthquakes ≥4 in magnitude Time-Period Effect estimates compared between time periods (years; before or after spud date) Distance Distance between household and closest well Well density or count Number of ever-spudded wells; number of newly- spudded wells; number of wells ever drilled; number of active wells per km2 within zip code Spud date with time- series component Product vector with indicator for spud date and proximity indicator Inverse Distance Weighting IDWa=∑ 1 𝑑 𝑖 𝑛 𝑖=1 IDWa=∑ 1 𝑑 𝑖 2 𝑛 𝑖=1 IDW for separate UOGD phases: Patient j=∑ 𝑋 𝑑 𝑖𝑗 2 𝑛 𝑖=1 Emissions Annual tons of pollutants emitted by zip code
  19. 19. 19 Epidemiology studies assess a range of health outcomes* *Often measured differently across studies Perinatal effects, e.g. Cancer, e.g. Respiratory effects, e.g. Symptoms • Birth weight • Gestational age • Lymph • Thyroid • Asthma • Pneumonia • Physiological • Mental health
  20. 20. Summary of Reported Associations: Birth Weight (measured as a continuous variable) 20 Example of results (as reported by investigators)
  21. 21. Epidemiology: Preliminary Takeaways • The body of literature represents a serious effort to understand potential health effects at a relatively early stage of UOGD expansion in the U.S. • Investigators made appropriate and innovative use of available historic exposure and health data • Results are mixed and subject to some important sources of uncertainty given surrogate nature of exposure metrics, limited number of studies investigating the same exposure and outcome pair, and the potential for unknown factors to confound analyses 21
  22. 22. Suggestions for Filling Research Gaps • Improved characterization of UOGD exposures: • Quantitative measures that differentiate between UOGD activities • Information about longitudinal variability (acute and chronic) • Personal exposures • Population mobility 22 Paper Author’s Recommendations Tustin et al. 2016 “Further research, including more sophisticated exposure and outcome measurements, is necessary...” Rasmussen et al. 2016 “Whether these associations are causal awaits further investigation, including more detailed exposure assessment.” Casey et al. 2016 “Use direct environmental sampling to more accurately capture exposure...” Jemielita et al. 2015 “Further studies are necessary to determine whether specific toxicants or combinations are associated with responses” Stacy et al. 2015 “Need for larger studies, in regio-specific fashion, with more precise characterization of exposure over an extended period” McKenzie et al. 2014 “Greater specificity in exposure estimates is needed to further explore these associations.” Hill 2018 “Further research on the longer term health impacts of shale gas development on all members of our society- as well as probable mechanisms and how best to mitigate them- is warranted”
  23. 23. The report will: 1. Frame what is known about potential human exposures in a conceptual model; 2. Offer recommendations for research to fill important knowledge gaps. Anticipated release date: Spring 2019 (as a draft-for-public-comment) 23 Exposure medium (e.g., air and water) or type (e.g., sensory) exposure Routes of exposure (inhalation, ingestion, and dermal) Potential source of UOGD chemical and non-chemical agent Exposed populations (including sensitive subpopulations) Release mechanism and migration pathways for each agent Conceptual Model of Human Exposure Exposure Literature Review
  24. 24. 24 Number of air monitoring or modeling studies reviewed.
  25. 25. 25 Number of water monitoring or modeling studies reviewed.
  26. 26. Number of Studies by Chemical Agent 26 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 Black Carbon Brine Metals Nitrogen Oxides Ozone Particulate Matter Radon VOCs Carbonyls Hydrogen Sulfide NUMBEROFSTUDIES Air Monitoring and Modeling Air Modeling Air Monitoring Biomonitoring Water Monitoring and Modeling Water Modeling Water Monitoring
  27. 27. 5 1 0 Water-related Air-related Occupational 6 Colorado Texas Pennsylvania, New York, & Ohio 1 2 3 6 1 1 1 7 1 8 9 1 0 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 3 4 *Plus 5 others that are either national in scope or focus on oil and natural gas operations outside the U.S. 1 4 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 8 1 2 4 Wyoming & North Dakota 3 UOGD Human Health Risk Assessments (combine available exposure and toxicity data to predict probability of adverse health outcomes)
  28. 28. Exposure: Preliminary Takeaways • In the 21st century UOGD took off: surprisingly large body of literature • Concerns are related to both chemical and non-chemical agents • Literature primarily focused on chemical agents • Air and water studies • In some locations under some conditions • Limited studies of spills and re-use of produced water • Fewer studies on chemicals in soil and sediment, light, noise, and odor 28
  29. 29. Exposure: Preliminary Takeaways • Source attribution • UOGD vs OGD • UOGD vs traffic and other sources • Variability • Temporal (e.g., seasonal) • Spatial (e.g., operator differences, shale play geochemistry differences, etc.) • Meteorological • Operations changing with evolving technologies, regulations, community concerns, etc. • Frequency, magnitude, duration, and likelihood of exposure • Generalizability 29
  30. 30. Research Planning 30
  31. 31. Recommendations from Workshop Participants Research Priorities - Study community-based exposures - Capture heterogeneity - Chemical and non-chemical agents - Distinguish between UOGD and non-UOGD sources - Provide information that is actionable and - Leverage partnerships Study Design - Review available data - Exposure studies should include: - Standardized methods - Both potential acute and chronic exposures - Source apportionment - Fate and transport - Focus on air emissions 31
  32. 32. Preliminary Ideas from Energy Research Committee • The overarching goal: Identify the full spatial and temporal range of human exposures arising from UOGD operations across the United States, whether they are occurring now or might in the future, the conditions under which they occur, and the likelihood of occurrence. • General type of study: Population-level exposure research. • Where: Multiple U.S. regions. • Exposure Pathways: Preliminary discussions to date have focused primarily on air and groundwater exposures, but all UOGD-related chemical and non-chemical agents remain under consideration. 32
  33. 33. • Use-inspired research: Informs policy decisions being made now and in the future. • Research Team: – Includes the full range of expertise, including UOGD operations. – Involves collaboration across sectors. – Experience with community engagement. – Access to UOGD operations and relevant data • Stakeholder engagement: During research planning, design, and implementation. 33 An HEI research team. Anticipated Attributes of Funded Research
  34. 34. • Helps to Define Probability of Exposure: • Spatial and temporal extent of exposure from permitted, accidental, and unauthorized releases of UOGD-related agents. • Anticipates, to the extent feasible, how evolving UOGD operator practices influence the potential for exposure. • Generalizable: Applicable to multiple populations, operating conditions, and locations. 34 (Photo courtesy of Range Resources.) Technologies evolve rapidly. Anticipated Attributes of Funded Research
  35. 35. Anticipated Attributes of Funded Research • Source Apportionment: – Distinguishes among exposures during different UOGD phases. – Distinguishes between UOGD-related exposures and those from other possible sources. • Efficient: – Phased research to optimize study design and implementation. – Creation of standardized electronic (digital) reporting systems and databases to facilitate ready access to UOGD-related data, especially to document permitted, accidental, and unauthorized releases. 35 Production phase on a well pad. Photo courtesy of Audubon, https://auduboncompanies.c om/onshore-oil-gas/well- pad/.
  36. 36. Next Steps 36
  37. 37. Next Steps in the Committee’s Review • Exposure literature review and identification of research to address important gaps - Draft report release in Spring 2019 with request for public comment • Epidemiology literature review - Final report release in Spring 2019 • Results will help to shape HEI-funded population-level exposure research in multiple major oil- and gas-producing regions of the United States - HEI-Energy research solicitation to be released in 2019; let us know if you would like to be notified of upcoming workshops and other opportunities to participate 37

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