Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

March 9, 2011

PA Gas Well Waste Monitoring to be Increased

Read here about the EPA asking Pennsylvania to increase their monitoring of gas well waste.…

March 3, 2011

Pressure Grows for Answers on Fracking

Source: New York Times Online, March 3, 2011
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

Congressional Democrats are demanding answers from the Environmental Protection Agency about the safety of hydraulic fracturing, a form of natural gas drilling also known as fracking, after revelations that wastewater from such drilling, which contains radioactive material, is regularly dumped into rivers and streams without proper treatment.

The dumping of the contaminated water was detailed in an investigative series on natural gas drilling by Ian Urbina of The New York Times that began on Sunday.

The natural gas industry has repeatedly claimed that fracking can be done safely, Representative Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, said in a statement . We now know we need a full investigation into exactly how fracking is done and what it does to our drinking water and our environment.

Americans should not have to consume radioactive materials from their drinking water as a byproduct of natural gas production, he said.…

February 28, 2011

Pa. suspends air pollution controls at drilling sites

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA), February 26, 2011
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

Just a week after repealing a policy requiring an environmental assessment of Marcellus Shale gas well permit proposals in state parks, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has announced it is suspending and reconsidering key air pollution controls governing the drilling industry.

The latest policy changes, detailed in today’s Pennsylvania Bulletin where official state actions are listed, would eliminate a December guideline that regulates emissions from all well operations in a region together, which could result in stricter pollution controls than if the wells are regulated individually.

The department is soliciting public comments on “whether any guidance or policy should be considered on this topic, and, if so, what such a policy or guidance might provide

The DEP also is seeking public comment on a policy adopted last summer that regulates emissions from non-road, “stationary engines,” including natural gas compressor station engines, which can be diesel or natural gas-powered and can be sources of smog producing emissions.

“This is troubling,” said Jan Jarrett, president and chief executive officer of Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, a statewide environmental group that has campaigned for a state severance tax on Marcellus Shale gas production. “These are the first Marcellus policies the Corbett administration is trotting out and it appears they are all rolling back environmental protections related to the gas industry.”…

February 3, 2011

High levels of TCE found in Collegeville

Source: http://www.pottstownmercury.com, January 23, 2007
By: Evan Brandt

Monitoring has found dangerously high levels of a carcinogenic chemical in the air around Collegeville, state officials have announced.

The levels are higher than anywhere else in the region and the state is now trying to reduce emissions of that chemical from two local factories.

The chemical in question is tetrachloroethylene, better known as TCE, and it has been linked to having a “significant bearing on excess lifetime cancer risks,” according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

It was the DEP that has been monitoring the air in Collegeville since last January, when it set up stations in Evansburg State Park and at the YMCA in Trappe.

The monitoring stations were set up after a mobile testing truck found abnormally high levels of TCE in the area in late 2004.…

December 16, 2010

Montco Meat Packer Fined $2M for Fish Kill

Publication Date 06/16/2010
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)

A Montgomery County beef processing plant that officials said released fish-killing pollutants into the Skippack Creek will pay $2 million in penalties, federal officials announced Wednesday.

The fines were levied after the firm, Moyer Packing Co. in Franconia Township, dumped pollutants into the creek. Skippack Creek is a tributary of the Perkiomen Creek, which flows into the Schuylkill.

The federal complaint was filed in 2008 against JBS Souderton Inc., which owns Moyer Packing Co., under the Clean Water Act and Clean Streams Law. JBS Souderton Inc. bought Moyer Packing Co in 2008 from the Smithfield Beef Group.

The Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said violations occurred over a five-year period beginning in 2003. Three of those incidents led to the deaths of nearly 25,000 fish in a mile-long portion of the creek. The first reported fish kill occurred Aug. 10, 2007. followed by incidents on Dec. 5, 2007, and June 10, 2008.…