DEP suppressed reports: water contamination from fracking

Started February 3, 2017 at 07:01 pm by @Paul Heckbert in GoMarcellusShale

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Paul Heckbert
02/03/17 07:01:56PM

Hidden Data Suggests Fracking Created Widespread, Systemic Impact in Pennsylvania

“After a three-year investigation in Pennsylvania, Public Herald has uncovered evidence of widespread and systemic impacts related to “fracking,” a controversial oil and gas technology.

Ending over a decade of suppression by the state, this evidence is now available to the public for the first time. … we submitted a final Right-to-Know request for the DEP database of all citizen complaints. On December 30, 2016, DEP responded in an email with a new list revealing a statewide total of 9,442 complaints from 2004 through November 29, 2016.

“A big part of the problem is that [officials] don’t take these complaints seriously,” [Dr. John Stolz of Duquesne University] said. “But when you go out and you meet people…you realize that this is for real. And until that attitude changes in Harrisburg, we’re going to continue seeing these complaints swept under the table.” …

DEP has concluded that out of thousands of drinking water complaints that residents attribute to oil and gas activities, only 6% of these are related. … So why, then, are so many people noticing changes to their water? And what is really causing those changes? What evidence does DEP have that proves oil and gas is not responsible?

Public Herald dove into the complaint records to find this out. In 2015, we reviewed 200 cases and discovered ways that DEP ignores, excuses, and dismisses evidence that indicates impact from oil and gas activities. … Stay tuned, dear reader, the story of misconduct will be revealed in Part 2…”

Statistics show about 0.1 complaint per conventional well drilled, but 1 to 2 complaints per unconventional (fracked) well drilled.


Paul Heckbert
02/03/17 07:09:03PM @paul-heckbert:

Complaints came from throughout the Marcellus region of Pennsylvania. (Municipalities with the highest number of complaints shown in purple or black).


Barry D
02/04/17 03:05:30PM @barry-d:


I do not have a problem with holding government accountable. But I also believe that honest discussion is required. You, and your anti oil and gas cohorts, are not about honest discussion. Instead you cherry pick information and use it to prove your false claims. You spread misinformation.

You have given a perfect example of misinformation.

You, and the others in the anti oil and gas crowd, fail to share the fact that many of the "complaints" came from areas where there is no oil and gas activity. In other words there are other reasons for problems with well water.

Further, another fact omitted by you and the others is that the DEP works diligently to investigate each so called "complaint". You do not share the results of those investigations. The result is that the DEP has not found a "Systematic Impact" on drinking water from oil and gas activity. in particular shale development.

You also imply that the information had been purposefully withheld. It was not. The Freedom of Information Request was the first request made by the group and the DEP graciously complied. It isn't as though numerous requests had been made and ignored. Just more misinformation.

BTW, the map you shared is not accurate. This is not surprising since it was produced by biased people.

Barry D
02/03/17 08:02:57PM @barry-d:

It's great that there are organizations out there to keep government honest.

But this organization has not presented anything new, These are the same unfounded claims and unproven that have been made in the past.

So an avowed anti-oil and gas organization goes on a crusade to prove a preconceived conclusion, and we are suppose to accept it as fact, right? No. It is not a ture investigation, instead it's a collection of misinformation that has been presented in the past. It's a re-run, we've seen it all before and has been completely debunked.

An example of the misinformation provided by this group is the number of complaints. First: complaints are not proven instances. Second: many of the complaints are repeats, thus inflating the number. These are only two of the numerous problems with this

This is not a scientifically conducted study which has been peer reviewed and should be ignored. If the conclusions were true and accurate where is the lawsuit? Obviously someone at the DEP has done something illegal.

Don't hold your breath, there will be no lawsuit. This is just another hit piece intended to promote the antioil and gas narrative.

02/04/17 10:45:49AM @craigs:

The Public Herald is spreading this scaremongering on Facebook trying to make a new mountain out of an old mole hill. I posted some factual rebuttals, but they just brush them off. Complainers, whiners, whatever you want to call them are doing themselves a disservice...they just don't know it yet. Wait until midterm elections come and go, then they will be joining the burn the city down crowd.

Paul Heckbert
02/23/17 01:18:42PM @paul-heckbert:

A Bedford County resident commented: “I think the state is in bed with the gas companies. My husband calls them DGP – Department of Gas Protection – because that’s what they’re about. To hell with us.”

Audio of conversation with a woman who lost cows and chickens:

Barry D
02/23/17 07:44:06PM @barry-d:


Hearsay, anecdotal.

No true proof this is true.

Barry D
02/23/17 07:46:10PM @barry-d:

You know, I was talking to a cow and his friend the pig the other day.

They were telling me how happy they were with oil and gas development.

Case closed




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