Friday, November 2, 2012

PA DEP Accused of Covering Up Water Contamination; Agency Argues That They Followed Guidelines

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is being accused, basically, of working with their Oil & Gas Division to conceal dangerous water contamination from drilling operations from residents.  The accusations are no doubt something that fracking critics hope will lead more people to conclude that the industry is lying when it says there is no proven case of contamination from fracking.

Here is a letter sent by a law firm to the PA DEP:
Krancer Letter

And here is an excerpt from a Shale Reporter article on this topic:
A high-ranking state Department of Environmental Protection official reveals the agency may have intentionally left out part of the results of water testing in relation to Marcellus shale drilling.
According to a press release from the office of State Rep. Jesse White, D-Allegheny/Beaver/Washington, the sworn testimony of DEP Bureau of Laboratories Technical Director Taru Upadhyay revealed the DEP used a computer code system that intentionally left out a portion of test results for residents who were concerned their water had been contaminated by nearby drilling.
“This is beyond outrageous,” White said. “Anyone who relied on the DEP for the truth about whether their water has been impacted by drilling activities has apparently been intentionally deprived of critical health and safety information by their own government.”
Upadhyay, employed by the DEP since 1994, was deposed in a lawsuit alleging nearby natural gas drilling operations contaminated drinking-water supplies and caused health issues in Washington County.
According to White, the court transcripts showed the DEP lab conducted water tests using an EPA-approved standard -- the DEP employee who requested the testing would use a "Suite Code" that limited the information coming back from the DEP lab to the DEP field office, and thus the property owner. The suite codes used were Suite Code 942, 943 and 946.
Read the entire article here.

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