Susan Phillips of StateImpact Pennsylvania has reported this story on the blog for National Public Radio and interested readers. Residents in the village of Rae, in Washington County, say they have complained to the PA DEP of bad odors they think are related to gas drilling. Edna Moten says they’ve been frustrated by the agency’s response.
The Clean Air Council says residents who have contacted the PA Department of Environmental Protection about gas drilling related air pollution incidents are frustrated by the lack of response. The Council sent a letter to EPA Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin, asking the EPA to assist the PA DEP. The letter from Clean Air Council executive director Joseph Minott details complaints from 13 residents who experienced odors, or witnessed “opaque” emissions.
“The Council discovered that in some cases, complaints were made to PA DEP and were never fully investigated and in other cases, residents lost faith in PA DEP and stopped reporting pollution complaints to them.”
Minott says the Clean Air Council has since created its own system to log shale drilling related complaints. The online form includes reporting on health issues the residents think might be associated with the odor, or visible emission incident. Of those who have filled out the Clean Air Council survey, 75 percent listed health impacts during the visible emissions, including headaches, dizziness and vertigo. More than 60 percent experienced headaches soon after an odor event.
The Clean Air Council also says it’s tough to even reach the PA DEP to report a complaint.
“Residents reported that the PA DEP complaint telephone number has not been working on several occasions in the past 8 months, and residents and Council staff have called during normal business hours and found that no one answered.”
And to make matters worse, those who did reach the PA DEP, according to Minott, often described interactions with rude and dismissive field agents.
Julie Archer of the West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization describes their most recent Newsletter. The Summer 2012 edition of Surface Owners’ News is now available.
In this issue:
- Details on the Governor’s Marcellus Bill
- Session 2012 Recap
- Rejoining Split Estates
- WV-SORO in the Courts
- Blocking Well Pads in Flood Plains
- Inspectors Needed
- WV Host Farms Program Launches
- Rally & March in DC July 25 thru 28th
- Update on EPA’s Hydraulic Fracturing Study
- EPA’s New Air Rules: What Do They Mean?
Click here to read the newsletter.