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Reports on Pa. Gas Industry are Critical of Regulators

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

A new report surfacing in Pennsylvania claims environmental regulators have fallen short in keeping track of the natural gas industry and its impact on water safety and public health.

The records, that were released yesterday, are based on a Department of Environmental Protection spreadsheet and say the DEP lacks a clear policy on the frequency of inspection of wells and shows gas and oil extraction has damaged water supplies in the Keystone State 200 times since 2007.

209 water supplies were identified by county, municipality and the date that regulators determined activities related to drilling contaminated or diminished the flow to a water source.

The audit not identify specific companies.

The report, which is more than 150 pages long, covers a four year period ending in 2012.

The first overhaul of Pennsylvania’s oil and gas laws in over 30 years was put into effect near the end of the audit period and boosted the DEP’s authority to regulate the industry.

The DEP says it plans to put information from the report on its public website.

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