What will it take for Michael Krancer and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to be criticized nationally for their dreadful response to the Marcellus Shale Development? Will it take more homeowner buyouts because their land was contaminated by the gas industry – as is shown on the “MLS from Hell” Facebook page? Or will the tipping point come from today’s Shale Reporter article “DEP Shelves More Stringent Water Test,” which revealed that the DEP has not been using appropriate water testing in the Marcellus Shale?
For most of Micheal Krancer’s term as DEP Secretary, he has spent more time attacking the Environmental Protection Agency than caring about the welfare of those living in the Shale Country. After a New York Times article “Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers” prompted the EPA to investigate the PA DEP in February 2011, Krancer defended the DEP by telling EPA Region Manager Shawn Garvin: “We are guided by sound science and the facts…Unfortunately, your letter, along with the recent New York Times articles, overlooks DEP’s strong and ongoing efforts to protect the environment and public health.” Krancer’s most notable, and arrogant, response to the EPA came in January 2012 when he criticized Lisa Jackson for the EPA’s findings in Pavilion, Wyoming. The EPA revealed that the natural gas industry was responsible for water contamination in Wyoming, but Krancer took sides with the gas industry and wrote:
“We, in Pennsylvania, would like to see EPA’s efforts geared toward a cooperative, science-based, and peer-reviewed analysis. I have read Governor Mead’s letter to you dated December 20, 2011, regarding the technical, scientific, and cooperative shortcomings of EPA’s activities with respect to Pavilion but there is no need to further discuss those issues in this letter. Suffice it to say, we hope that EPA’s efforts in Pennsylvania are not marked by the same rush to conclusions and other deficiencies as occurred at Pavilion. Like Governor Mead, I ask for your commitment that EPA will cooperate with Pennsylvania’s experts in this process. I also ask for a full and candid exchange of information as between EPA and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and that your efforts be guided by sound science and the law instead of emotion and publicity.
We realize and recognize that EPA is very new to all of this and the EPA’s understanding of the facts and science behind this activity is rudimentary. Fortunately, Pennsylvania is not new to all of this and we have a long history of experience at overseeing and regulating oil and natural gas extraction activities in our state, including hydraulic fracturing.”