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Thursday, September 19, 2013

PA natural gas news

Two recent actions by Governor Corbett and Secretary Abruzzo’s Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) show, once again, the DEP’s mettle in protecting the environment and public health and safety, as well as this administration’s continuing commitment to strong action in stewarding responsible development of the Commonwealth’s natural gas resources.
First, on August 5, 2013, the DEP revoked the permit of Aquatic Synthesis Unlimited (“ASU”) and announced it will use the company’s $1 million bond to begin cleaning up the Indiana County site, which holds 1 million gallons of shale wastewater and about 5 million tons of contaminated soil.  A remediation firm has already been hired to perform the necessary cleanup.  ASU showed its inability or lack of intention to comply with the law and the DEP acted properly and decisively in shuttering the facility and commencing the cleanup.
Such enforcement actions are very important in assuring responsible development of our natural resources.  Cheaters should not be allowed to “gain the system” because that is a “double whammy.”  Cheaters are simultaneously stealing a competitive advantage over law-abiding companies who make the investments to operate properly—thus undermining the free market—and they are creating a probable or real danger of environmental harm.