According to the Post-Gazette, the Department of Environmental Protection issued a new policy dealing with Marcellus Shale drilling-related water contamination.
[The new policy has] department administration in Harrisburg instead of field offices decide whether residential water users should receive letters notifying them about problems.
The month-old policy hasn’t stopped, held up or altered any contaminated-water determination letters. And the DEP said in response to questions that it would not result in delays to homeowners about water contamination.
However, critics are concerned that the policy allows high-level DEP officials in Harrisburg to decide not to issue, or delay issuing, contamination determination letters recommended by a field office. A decision not to make that determination could save drilling companies millions of dollars in groundwater remediation, water treatment or replacement costs, and lengthen the time it takes to fix the problems.
George Jugovic Jr., chief executive officer of Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, said, “Harrisburg is making a decision on the notification before action is taken…But it’s supposed to be a scientific decision based on water test results and the law. What [science] expertise in that does Krancer have?”