Auditor General Issues Critical PADEP Audit
Pennsylvania Environmental Organizations Applaud Investigation’s Goals
Report’s findings mirror concerns raised by Pennsylvanians dealing with water contamination
Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania’s Auditor General office released a highly anticipated audit of the Department of Environmental Protection’s performance regarding shale gas development today.
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale stated that the audit “…shows that the meteoric growth of the shale gas industry caught the Department of Environmental Protection unprepared to effectively administer laws and regulations to protect drinking water and unable to efficiently respond to citizen complaints”.
The report is available here:
For the last 18 months, environmental and citizens groups have been in touch with DEP regarding our grave concerns about procedures and policies for water quality monitoring, testing, and response in the face of the shale gas boom. It has long been clear that:
- they lack transparency;
- result in the withholding of vital data from affected households and the public;
- force residents to undergo prolonged exposure to contaminants that can impact health;
- and delay action necessary to correct pollution and ensure that operators provide clean drinking water to those who need it.
- The audit confirms that basic reforms are needed to address the harms communities are experiencing from shale gas development in the Commonwealth.
“The Auditor General’s inspection is not just a capture of deficiencies within the agency in present time but a call to the future to take actions that will improve agency policies & operations so that public confidence in the agency can be restored & we can better protect drinking water & public health”, said Steve Hvozdovich, Marcellus Shale Policy Associate, Clean Water Action.
“For countless Pennsylvanians in the Marcellus and Utica, the Auditor General’s findings come as no surprise. His frank assessment of the deficiencies within the DEP accurately tells the story of an agency that was unprepared to deal with shale gas development’s impacts on our water supply and, by extension, our communities. The tenor of the agency’s response included in the report is discouraging in its denial of many of the problems the Auditor General has cited and its misguided belief that it has satisfactorily addressed some of the other issues, particularly those dealing with transparency and public access to critical data,” said Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth.