Is the Water Toxic Near PA Drilling Sites? Probably, Thanks to the DEP

November 10th, 2012 by

In a recent stunning series of admissions, two top officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) admitted that the Department does not report full test results for 24 heavy metals, as required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), when it conducts residential water samples on properties at or near natural gas or oil well sites. In other words, although required by federal law and the EPA, the DEP is intentionally not reporting the presence of many toxic, heavy metals in the drinking water of Pennsylvania’s citizens it is duty bound to protect!

How is this possible and how do they get away with it? According to the sworn testimony of DEP Laboratories Technical Director, Tara Upadhyay, and DEP Water Specialist, John Carson, this is how it is done:

First: A DEP field inspector collects a water sample from your water supply.

Second: The DEP inspector marks a “Sample Sheet” that tells the lab what to test for. The DEP is required by the EPA to test for 24 heavy metals.

Third: The field inspector writes “Suite Code 942” on the Sample Sheet.

Fourth: The DEP Lab tests for all 24 heavy metals, as required by the EPA.

Fifth: Since the Field inspector used “Suite Code 942”, the DEP Lab produces a report for only 8 of the 24 heavy metals, even though results for all 24 are available.

Lastly: The DEP issues report stating the water is safe because of the intentionally omitted data.

Presto, the DEP has effectively bypassed the EPA testing mandate and issues a report stating that your water is safe for you and your family to drink, even if the levels for the other 16 heavy metals in your water are hazardous! So, if you live near oil or gas drilling operations in Pennsylvania, beware. You may be drinking contaminated water courtesy of the State Department you pay taxes for to protect you from such dangers.

Under Pennsylvania law, “The Department of Environmental Protection’s Mission is to protect Pennsylvania’s Air, Land, and Water from Pollution and to provide for the Health and Safety of its citizens through a cleaner environment.” Clearly, in this instance they are intentionally not doing that. Why? Who does this incredible breach of Pennsylvania’s citizens trust benefit? Good questions!