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.