PA DEP Increases Inspections, but Fewer Violations Issued in 2015

looking under rocksWith fewer new wells being drilled in Pennsylvania, and more inspectors added to the roles at the Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), as you might expect, there have been more inspections of existing/older gas and oil wells. In fact, the DEP has conducted 1,700 more inspections over the first seven months of 2015 than they did in 2014. The oil and gas division of the DEP has added 25 new employees in the past 12 months–even though drilling activity has gone down. Typical government boondoggle. You can’t hire people and give them nothing to do. Well, you can, but that doesn’t look good for a new governor. So the DEP has hauled out the magnifying glass to look under every rock on the well pad. And what have they found? Despite 16% more inspections of shale operations this year, the total number of violations has gone down–from 283 violations for the first seven months of 2014, to 205 violations for the first seven months in 2015. However, violations for conventional drillers over the same period have gone up…

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