AP Reports PA DEP is Seriously Understaffed and Cutting Corners with Marcellus Shale Drilling Permits

The Associated Press is transparently anti-drilling in its reporting. While everyone pretends the mighty AP is unbiased and “above the fray” and independent, it is not. So let’s just get that out on the table. MDN uses that preface for news from the AP that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is seriously understaffed when it comes to reviewing Marcellus Shale drilling permits.

IF the following is accurate, it is disturbing indeed and deserves immediate attention from Gov. Corbett. But bear in mind the news comes from the AP, so you never know…

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PA Marcellus Wastewater Treatment Plant Threatens Lawsuit Against Pitt Researcher

University of Pittsburgh researcher Conrad “Dan” Volz is resigning in May as director of Pitt’s Center for Healthy Environments and Communities because of his “philosophical differences” with the university over the issue of Marcellus Shale drilling. Volz has been a visible and loud voice against drilling, and that does not sit well at Pitt.

Volz released a report on March 23, subsequently revised and reissued two days ago, critical of the Pennsylvania Brine Treatment plant near Black Lick, in Indiana County, PA. The plant treats and releases Marcellus Shale wastewater into the Blacklick Creek. In the report, Volz recommends the plant’s operations be halted.

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Marcellus Drilling in ACORD Municipal Park (Allegheny County, PA) Voted Down by Local Councils

The Avonworth Municipal Authority in Allegheny County, PA recently signed a five-year drilling lease for the ACORD Municipal Park property controlled by the Authority (see the MDN story here). However, the deal was contingent on four of the five municipalities that oversee the 119-acre park in Kilbuck and Ohio Townships. Last night Emsworth council was the second municipality to vote against the measure and so the deal will not go forward.

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