Posts Tagged ‘DEP’

“One Chance” To Get Gas Right Says PA DEP Chief

January 12, 2012

On Tuesday evening, January 10, 2012 the PA Department of Environmental Protection Secretary, Michael Krancer, once again put the onus on gas companies to protect our land, air and water. The secretary was speaking at Villanova University, at a presentation organized by PA Association of Environmental Professionals and The Pennsylvania Environmental Council, and facilitated by Burack Environmental Law.

To the strident observer, it’s stunning how much faith Secretary Krancer places in the corporate good intentions of shale gas drillers. It’s as if he’s incognizant of the industry’s shoddy track record in Pennsylvania, and how they wracked up a whopping 1.8 average violations per inspection in 2011. (more…)


Got Water? Pennsylvania Is Home to Over 1,000,000 Private Water Wells

August 1, 2011

Pennsylvania has more fresh water wells in private use than any other state in the US. We also have an abundance of natural, mineral-laced springs. Most of these wells and nearly all of the springs, however, exist undocumented. That means, if you use a well, the Department of Environmental Protection has no record of your water’s baseline composition, and it probably doesn’t even know your well exists.

Many water advocates in the state recognize that this one of the weakest links in the DEP’s plan to regulate, and therefore enforce, the shale gas drilling industry. After all, how can they determine if a homeowner’s water has or has not been polluted when they do not know the quality that existed before gas drilling began, right? If you’re a water well owner, don’t let it come to that. Make sure your water quality is tested and certified, and becomes part of public record. This could be especially important of you are seeking to sell your home in the future, as any potential buyer could be denied financing if your well water quality is in question. (more…)

Local Leaders Leach & Gerber: Getting Gas Right

July 26, 2011

One of the most objectionable items in the new Pennsylvania budget is deep cuts to the Department of Environmental Protection – over $165 million. How can this be? Hydrofracking is ramping up at a record pace, particularly in the watersheds in the Northeast. The DEP has approved a record-breaking 2,461 new drilling permits since January 2011, and with 1,512 overall inspections in 2010, we totaled 2,754 known violations. Clearly, the need for stronger regulation and enforcement has never been greater. (more…)

Faklempt Over Fracking in the Poconos: Jewish Overnight Camps Sign Leases

July 25, 2011

When I first read Josh Nathan-Kazis’ July 13 article in The Jewish Daily Forward, entitled Fracking Comes to Jewish Summer Camp, I was appalled that any children’s camp, or school or university, would lease their land for money, and expose children in our state to the horrible pollution associated with hydrofracking. Yet the Wayne Country property, home of the B’nai B’rith Perlman camp, is not the only one. About ten Jewish Camps, including the New Jersey Y, have already signed leases or entered negotiations with companies like Hess and Chesapeake. (more…)

Will The Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission Recommend More Study or More Cement?

July 14, 2011

Regardless of how you feel about fracking taxes, it’s obvious that when it comes to natural gas extraction in the Marcellus Shale, the Corbett administration puts far too much faith in corporate good intentions, a few hundred DEP inspectors and cement. We need to come together on this complex and divisive issue, yet the upcoming July 22 report from the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission promises to further deepen the ideological fractures among citizens and stake-holders.


DEP Suggests New Rules! to Marcellus Advisory Commission

July 12, 2011

1,000 Feet
That’s how close to your water supply (water well, surface water intake, or reservoir), a gas company could legally frack a gas well, unless waived by operator.

500 Feet
That’s how close to your private water well a gas company could legally drill.

When a gas well is hydraulically fractured, the drill bit goes down vertically for a few thousand feet, then it turns horizontally. It travels sideways for up to a mile before a charge is detonated to blast water, sand and chemicals into the rock.

The last time I checked, a mile was 5,280 feet. (more…)

Got Gas? PA Storage Sites in Short Supply

July 9, 2011

The price of Natural Gas on the NYMEX was down to $9.32 on Friday. Not a big deal, still a few dollars above its ten year average, but interesting when you consider it means gas companies will have to store even more gas to ride out this slightly protracted dip in prices. So where, and how, is natural gas being stored? (more…)

DEP Secretary Krancer Has Wealthy Dad: This Is Not News

July 7, 2011

An article by Laura Olson in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette today reports that a few state minority leaders are irked by the somewhat flamboyant timing of Ronald Krancer’s donation to the state GOP – it was on the eve of the confirmation of his son’s appointment to Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. It’s curious why, all the sudden, this matters. Michael Krancer’s appointment by Gov. Tom Corbett was widely applauded on both sides of the aisle, and his later confirmation was smooth sailing. And it’s odd because while Corbett has made some questionable appointments, this isn’t one of them. (more…)

Clean Water Action Calls on Lawmakers to Reject Cuts to DEP

July 3, 2011

State lawmakers are set to vote on  $160 million in budget cuts to the PA Department of Environmental Protection

In Pennsylvania this week, the Republican-controlled PA senate approved a new budget without a gas tax or impact fee. PA remains the only gas drilling state without one. Anti-gas-tax Governor Tom Corbett’s administration is issuing drilling permits (primarily in the Upper Delaware) with mercurial speed. At the same time, they are cutting funding to the Department of Environmental Protection. Regulation is one thing, enforcement quite another. And fracking’s cumulative impacts are already accumulating.

Corbett would like to table the frack-tax debate indefinitely, but even a steadily increasing number of house Republicans are growing impatient with all the lost revenue. On July 22, the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission’s final report is due on Corbett’s desk. Until then, he’s promised to veto any gas tax or impact fee. Maybe he figures drillers can afford to regulate themselves? (more…)