The Pennsylvania DEP Accused of Falsifying Reports, Or DEP You Got Some Splain’n To Do.
The New York Times reported that the PADEP omitted data on metals found in well and other water sources in Pennsylvania counties.
The documents were part of a lawsuit claiming that natural gas extraction through a method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and storage of the resulting wastewater at a site in southwestern Pennsylvania has contaminated drinking water and sickened seven plaintiffs who live nearby.
The suit was filed in Washington County Court by 7 people that live in Washington County with in one mile of gas wells. Their health complaints are nausea, bone pain, breathing difficulties and severe headaches.
Toxicology tests on Mr. Kiskadden and the other six plaintiffs who live within a mile of a Range Resources drill site and wastewater pond in Amwell Township have found the presence of toluene, benzene and arsenic in their bodies, according to the complaint.
State Representative Jesse J. White, a Democrat who represents part of Washington County, accused the Environmental Protection Department of manipulating water tests to hide what he called “adverse results” from gas-drilling operations.
Rep. Jesse White is taking a lot of criticism for going up against the Gas Industry fighting for the safety of his constituents and all citizens of Pennsylvania. Range Resource has been the most vocal against Mr. White.
State Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil, filed the request with the agency last week after he said they declined to release 400 pages of raw data from its June 5 testing at Cornerstone Care’s Community Medical and Dental Plaza.
In the Patch article Jesse White said, it was the first time he had to file a Right to Know request through a state agency during his tenure as a state representative.
The DEP has not released the findings of the Cornerstone Care study. And as it stands right now, The head of the DEP is an appointed position by the governor. However, Jesse White has introduced a two bill package that will call for the DEP Head to be an elected position.
The bills—HB 2606 and 2607—would change the Pennsylvania Constitution to give the DEP commissioner true independence to do his or her job, much like we did in 1981 by moving the office of Attorney General from an appointed to elected position.
I will report more on this as it will open up more law suits in the future I am sure.