Pennsylvania Shale Gas Producers Received Hundreds of Environmental Citations in 4 years, PennEnvironment Says

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By David Conti

Hundreds of environmental citations issued to shale gas producers over a nearly four-year period provide evidence that Pennsylvania should halt well development and tighten regulations, an anti-drilling group said Tuesday.

But gas drillers and their trade association dismissed the report’s veracity, saying the group used flawed methodology by including administrative citations in its list of environmental and health violations.

Philadelphia-based PennEnvironment tallied violations by each producer between January 2011 and August 2014. The group’s report did not provide any year-by-year data, and did not describe the severity of violations, or how they were resolved.

“When it comes to fracking, there are just no good apples,” Lina Blount, a program associate at PennEnvironment, said in announcing the group’s analysis of violation records held by the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Its list of companies with the most violations closely mirrors the top drillers in the state and was led by Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., the state’s second largest shale gas producer, with 265 violations.

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