PA Resident Wins Right to Appeal DEP Water Contamination Case

The Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) ruled on May 16 that a Washington County resident who claims that nearby shale gas drilling is responsible for his water well being contaminated with methane and chemicals can appeal a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) determination that his well was not contaminated by shale drilling.

The ruling by the Environmental Hearing Board clears the way for Loren Kiskadden of Amwell to pursue an appeal to the board that alleges the DEP’s investigation of his well-contamination complaint was inaccurate and incomplete.

Sampling of the well by the DEP and Range Resources in June 2011 found dissolved methane gas, chloroform, butyl alcohol, acetone and high levels of sodium and total dissolved solids. But the DEP concluded the contaminants weren’t caused by Range’s well drilling or any other gas well development in the area.

The DEP said in its September 2011 response letter to Mr. Kiskadden’s well contamination complaint, that his water problem was caused by "natural conditions."

*Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (May 22, 2012) – Appeal approved for Washington County man challenging DEP finding on Marcellus contamination