Welcome to the new website of Health Effects Institute - Energy (HEI-Energy)

July 30, 2019

We are pleased to welcome you to the new website of HEI-Energy, a separately funded affiliate of the Health Effects Institute (HEI).

Research Committee Meeting
                      Research Committee Meeting

Our purpose is to identify and conduct high-priority research and reviews of the scientific literature on the potential population exposures and health effects from onshore development of oil and natural gas from shale and other unconventional resources (UOGD) across the United States. Development of this extensive resource has expanded rapidly in recent years, contributing to energy independence and employment but also raising important questions about potential exposures and health effects.                                            

HEI-Energy was established to begin to answer these questions.

HEI-Energy is modeled after HEI, an industry–government partnership, which for nearly 40 years has provided high-quality, independent science to inform decisions about exposures and human health effects from air pollution. This proven model has now been replicated, with separate support from new partners in the oil and gas industry and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and with a challenging new mission that includes considering all environmental exposures that may arise from UOGD and defining and implementing a research program to address important knowledge gaps.

HEI-Energy has its roots in the work of an HEI Special Committee that prepared a 2015 Strategic Research Agenda about potential UOGD impacts. Since that time, HEI-Energy and its current Research Committee have worked extensively with stakeholders and sponsors in key regions across the nation, listening carefully to concerns from citizens, scientists, and others, and using their input to guide its work. The Research Committee has conducted and will soon release reviews of the current scientific literature on exposure and heath that will help guide HEI-Energy’s own research portfolio in the years ahead.

The seeds of HEI-Energy were planted when citizens, government, and industry in the Marcellus region sought trusted science to help shape regional policy on UOGD. Thanks to early support from forward-looking philanthropies, a new research program, now national in scope, exists to answer these questions.

Many people made it possible for HEI-Energy to reach this milestone. These include early bipartisan visionaries in Congress across both Republican and Democratic administrations, citizens in towns both small and large who voiced their interests and concerns, officials at all levels of state and national government, leading researchers, and willing sponsors from the U.S. EPA and the oil and gas industry whose insight and belief in the importance of independent science to inform their respective decisions and the public make this program possible.

All of us at HEI-Energy are grateful for support we have already received from sponsors and stakeholders alike, and we are ready to meet this new and important challenge.