Drilling’s Air Impact

Scranton Times-Tribune - Letter To The Editor

By Rebecca Roter

May 5, 2015

Editor: For years, oversight of natural gas drilling has been seriously lacking. A recent report from a leading nonprofit catalogs how the Department of Environmental Protection has failed to keep up with the huge volume of wastewater generated by drilling. It means we aren’t keeping track of the waste or disposing of it properly.

This is hardly a surprise, since the state’s auditor general discovered last summer that DEP also was failing to investigate and act on shale gas-related water complaints from citizens.

Fortunately, the Wolf administration has started to demand some accountability of the drillers to the communities in which they operate and the public at large. New draft regulations would address a number of the issues we know are a problem by banning temporary waste storage pits and upgrading requirements for centralized wastewater impoundment ponds. These new requirements are a step in the right direction for protecting water quality.

But what about the air? The American Lung Association has reported failing grades for many communities in terms of high ozone days and particle pollution. Poor air quality puts the health of kids and adults with asthma, cardiovascular disease and diabetes at risk.

Read the full letter here

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