DEP gets 2nd dour report on gas well oversight – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The report, titled “Blackout in the Gas Patch: How Pennsylvania residents are left in the dark on health and enforcement,” is based on the most recent DEP data available and notes that the department is falling far short of its own inspection policy, which suggests gas and oil wells be inspected seven times before they begin production.

According to its analysis of DEP’s 2013 inspection report, Earthworks found that while the total number of well inspections has increased from 7,520 to 13,367 from 2008 to 2013, the average number of inspections at the state’s “unconventional” wells, those drilled into shale formations, has declined from 3.3 inspections per well in 2008 to 2.2 in 2013.

Even though the number of well inspectors and inspections have increased, 66,326 of the state’s 79,693 active conventional and unconventional wells, 83 percent, were not inspected once.

“How can the DEP assert that drilling is benign if it’s not doing the inspections?” Ms. Steinzor asked.

via DEP gets 2nd dour report on gas well oversight – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.