Pennsylvania Grand Jury Finds that State Agencies Failed to Properly Regulate Fracking

Today, the Pennsylvania’s Attorney General’s Office released a report by the Grand Jury investigating Pennsylvania’s fracking regulations and enforcement finding that Pennsylvania’s state government has not properly regulated or enforced fracking operations in the Commonwealth. Specifically, the Grand Jury Report makes eight recommendations for reform:

  1. Expanding no-drill zones in Pennsylvania from the required 500 feet to 2,500 feet;
  2. Requiring fracking companies to publicly disclose all chemicals used in drilling and hydraulic fracturing before they are used on-site;
  3. Requiring the regulation of gathering lines, used to transport unconventional gas hundreds of miles;
  4. Adding up all sources of air pollution in a given area to accurately assess air quality;
  5. Requiring safer transport of the contaminated waste created from fracking sites;
  6. Conducting a comprehensive health response to the effects of living near unconventional drilling sites;
  7. Limiting the ability of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection employees to be employed in the private sector immediately after leaving the Department;
  8. Allowing the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General original criminal jurisdiction over unconventional oil and gas companies.

“We’ve been raising the alarm bells for years regarding Pennsylvania’s failure to adequately regulate or enforce against fracking sites and we are glad the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office is stepping up to protect the public and the environment,” said Lisa Graves-Marcucci, PA Coordinator, Community Outreach for the Environmental Integrity Project. “The critical changes proposed in this report are just a starting point in terms of the protections that need to be put in place, and they should be adopted swiftly and widely.”

The Attorney General’s press release can be found here: Press release

The Grand Jury’s report can be found here: Full report