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It appears our PA DEP is doing its usual incompetent job. Of course incompetence is what is required and encouraged under the administration of Governor Corbett. The hydraulic fracturing (Fracking) in the mountains of Pennsylvania could possibly end up being one of the larger environmental disasters in Pennsylvania's history. And the Pennsylvania DEP is doing nothing to protect the environment. By their actions it appears that there job is actually to protect the perpetrators not the victims.

The DEP will do what it takes to make sure as much fracking is done as quickly as possible with the least amount of oversight possible.  Including almost no review of drilling permits.

Pennsylvania environmental regulators say they spend as little as 35 minutes reviewing each of the thousands of applications for natural gas well permits they get each year from drillers who want to tap the state’s vast Marcellus Shale reserves.

And now including lying to residents who may have had their wells polluted by nearby drilling

Not only have they approved all but 31 of 7,019 applications to drill, but the PA DEP appears to be willing to lie to residents and purposefully not do their job in order to protect drillers. In the Woodlands community, about 30 miles north of Pittsburgh sudden well contamination has appeared soon after nearby fracking started.
   It appears these nearby wells had casement issues. The casement is what prevents the highly toxic frack water, that is being pumped into the deeper rock, from getting forced into the higher up areas that contain the groundwater; sort of like a straw forced through the ground to get to the 'goodness' deep underneath. Any leaks in the casing could cause quick contamination as toxic chemicals are forced into the ground water under pressure. From yesterdays AP

Since early last year, people have complained of suddenly discolored and smelly water, unexplained illnesses, and tests that suggest the presence of industrial chemicals in their water.
One resident with drinking water problems said she specifically asked DEP and company representatives if there had been any problems during nearby gas drilling.

"Both of them are like, `no, no, no,'" said Janet McIntyre.

But the agency's own records show that in September 2010, State College-based Rex was cited for either failing to report casing job problems within 24 hours or failure to submit a plan to correct the problem within 30 days. In November of that year the company was cited for a stream discharge of drilling waste, and failure to properly store, transport, or dispose of waste.

McIntyre said DEP officials have refused to do follow-up tests on her water.
As a driller it must be comforting to know that the government agency that is suppose to protect the environment and the people of Pennsylvania is there to protect you instead.

Originally posted to freemark on Thu Mar 01, 2012 at 08:04 AM PST.

Also republished by Progressive Hippie.

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