- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Good thing we're cutting all the funding out DEP. God knows they don't need it.
Data supplied by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources show that well operators in that state have received 14,409 notices of violation since 2000.
Many of the violations reflect paperwork oversights, but many others are for environmental harm. The Ohio data, analyzed by Scripps, show 1,972 violations alone for pollution and contamination. Nearly 2,000 violations have no electronic record of when -- or if -- they've been fixed.
Pennsylvania officials say their records are in similar shape. The state has issued 8,309 violations since 2007, but officials there caution that their files - which include thousands of violations that have no date of being fixed - cannot be trusted as accurate. Instead of keeping their books up-to-date, inspectors are devoting their limited manpower in the field rather than completing paperwork.
"There's so many more violations that we're trying to keep on top of," said Jamie Legenos, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. "We want to make sure they are being addressed. When it comes to putting in the resolution date, it's just catching up with the paperwork."
In the last ten years, the DEP budget has consistently been cut. At the same time, natural gas drillers were laying their plans, now coming to fruition, to come into this state big. Under a weak regulatory structure created for a much more modest industry, with few regulators, no tax on extraction and an income tax system that makes it easy for them to evade Federal taxes as well.
The Nature Conservancy recently released a map projecting just how much ground drillers are likely to cover in our state by 2030. FrackTracker has a similar map that focuses exclusively on violations. This is never going to look better than it does today.