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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19, 2011

Cherelle Blazer to Guide Work on Emissions from Natural Gas Drilling

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 – Cherelle Blazer, an atmospheric chemist who has worked for the U.S. Department of Energy and with the Environmental Protection Agency and is a nationally recognized authority on the effects of natural gas drilling in urban communities, has joined Earthworks as science and policy advisor to the organization’s Oil & Gas Accountability Project (OGAP).

Blazer, who lives in Dallas, will advise OGAP’s work on federal standards for toxic air pollution from natural gas drilling. As the natural gas boom has spread nationwide, OGAP is stepping up its work at the local, state and federal levels to protect communities from the health risks of drilling, hydraulic fracturing and production.

“We are excited and privileged to have Cherelle Blazer join our team,” said OGAP Director Gwen Lachelt. “She brings the scientific and policy expertise we need to ensure that the DOE, EPA and other federal agencies promulgate rules that put public health ahead of industry profits.”

Blazer has a long and distinguished career in government, nonprofits and the private sector.

Before earning a master’s degree in environmental science from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, she interned at NASA Langley and worked at the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, the National Center of Atmospheric Research, the Department of Commerce and the city of Cincinnati.  In addition, she has conducted chemistry, toxicological, and enforcement work for the EPA, and worked with the Bureau of Land Management on National Monuments. She currently serves as a member of the City of Dallas Gas Drilling Task Force.

In the nonprofit sector, she worked on Capitol Hill for the Wilderness Society, playing a key role in the campaign to stop oil drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. Recently she was Clean Air and Energy Specialist at the Environmental Defense Fund, working on air quality impacts of natural gas drilling in the Barnett Shale region and to create energy efficiency projects in minority communities. Blazer recently founded You Can’t Live in the Woods, a nonprofit dedicated to sustainability and public health in urban areas.

She is the owner of Urban Environmental Company, a consulting firm. As former head of environmental projects at Evergreen Land Company, she led a public/private partnership to plug acid drainage from the Deniro Mine workings in Colorado.

Blazer serves on the board of Dallas Area Residents for Responsible Drilling, Downwinders at Risk, Shale Test and Unify South Dallas.

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