ICYMI: Pa. Environmental Regulator, “There is virtually no physical way for frac water to interfere with, or directly communicate with drinking water supplies”

Pa. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Regional Director George Jugovic Jr., a former PennFuture attorney, addressed the Marcellus Shale Gas Environmental Summit this week in Pittsburgh. Following are key excerpts from his remarks:

On Fracture Zone and Groundwater:

  • “Marcellus of course is about between 5,000 and 9,000 feet, as it moves across Pennsylvania. And so the point there of course, is that persons that are concerned about interaction between frac fluids and our drinking water supplies, and there are a substantial number of aqua guards that exist between where the Marcellus Shale is and where our drinking water supplies are. Thousands of feet of course separate them.
  • “[U]nless you provide a conduit between those two areas, between the Marcellus Shale and the drinking water, there is virtually no physical way for frac water to interfere with, or directly communicate with, drinking water supplies.”
  • In fact, we have not had, to date, any documented incidents of frac water directly communicating and polluting drinking water supply… in Pennsylvania.”

On the FRAC Act:

  • “The fact is, that even if enacted, we don’t believe that the FRAC Act will change regulation in Pennsylvania at all.”
  • Pennsylvania already achieves what is sought to be achieved by the Federal FRAC Act. We already require cementing and  casing to protect underground drinking water resources, which I just went through briefly, and we also, I will go through this in a little more detail, require reporting of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing by the percent volume.
  • “[A]ny member of the public or industry for that matter, that wants to identify what is in FRAC fluids can get on our website and go to that well and find out what the mix was by percent volume and identify all the chemicals used in that particular well for fracking.”

Audio clip available HERE.

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