Tuesday, March 8, 2011

NYT responds to yesterday's DEP press release contradicting story

Journalist Ian Urbina authored a response to DEP's press release (see previous blog post) which appears in today's New York Times.  In its press release, the DEP stated that their own testing in various sites proved that the water was potable and that any levels of radium/radioactivity were all below safe levels.  Here is an excerpt illustrating yet another example of ineptitude when it comes to state oversight:

"The Times found that samples taken by the state in the Monongahela River — a source of drinking water for parts of Pittsburgh — came from a point upstream from the two sewage treatment plants on that river. The state has said those plants are still accepting significant quantities of drilling waste.

Because that sampling site is upstream, the discharges from those two plants are not captured by the state’s monitoring plans.

Asked on Monday if the state planned to correct the problem, Katy Gresh, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, said it was still considering where to take samples in the future and whether to require testing at drinking-water intake plants."

To read the original article in its entirety, click HERE.

So who's telling the truth?

Recently the New York Times featured an investigative report on fracking--on their front page.  (Click HERE to read).  Several previously confidential reports/memos were uncovered showing that fracking wastewater ultimately can NOT be adequately treated before it's released into our waterways.  Worse, an accompanying interactive map showed dozens of PA wells tested positive for radium thousands of times higher than acceptable levels.

Well, yesterday, PA's Department of Environmental Protection issued a press release indicating the exact opposite.  Three of the wells featured on the NYT interactive map are located in Tioga County; and yet the DEP says they tested water downstream of Tioga County and found the water safe.  How is that possible??  To read the original DEP press release, click HERE.