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Shedding light on a gas patch blackout

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By Nadia Steinzor

August 7, 2014

When a friend recently asked me how work was going, I told him about an investigative research project that Earthworks was finishing up. He responded with a quote by writer Kurt Vonnegut: “Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do the maintenance.”

That about sums up the central conclusion of our new report, Blackout in the Gas Patch: How Pennsylvania Residents are Left in the Dark on Health and Enforcement—that as Pennsylvania’s government rushes to expand fracking, it is failing to protect air, water, and health. In other words, the state is more than willing to build the gas and oil industry, but is far less interested in making sure it functions well.

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Tagged with: fracking, public health, pennsylvania, enforcement, pennsylvania department of environmental protection


Welcome growling over shale gas oversight

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By Nadia Steinzor

July 23, 2014

Pennsylvanians whose health and quality of life have been disrupted by gas development certainly have a personal “dog in the fight” for better industry oversight and accountability. But they might not have expected help in that quest from the state’s fiscal watchdog—who yesterday strongly criticized the ability of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to track problems and respond to the public. 

In a report on DEP’s protection of water quality in the face of shale gas drilling, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale detailed serious lapses in how DEP works with drillers who have caused water pollution; communicates investigation results to residents; registers citizen complaints; conducts inspections of gas sites; and tracks waste. 

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Tagged with: fracking, pennsylvania, pennsylvania department of environmental protection, water contamination


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