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Discussion Starter #1
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection produces incomplete lab reports and uses them to dismiss complaints that Marcellus Shale gas development operations have contaminated residential water supplies and made people sick, according to court documents.

In response, state Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil, Thursday called on state and federal agencies to investigate the DEP for "alleged misconduct and fraud" revealed by sworn depositions in a civil case currently in Washington County Common Pleas Court.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/loca.../#ixzz2B5fcUWz2
 

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http://eidmarcellus.org/marcellus-shale/jesse-white-the-state-representative-who-cried-wolf/14982/

<span style="font-style: italic">White is claiming DEP unlawfully omitted test results to landowners who had filed grievances regarding potential contamination from natural gas development because DEP’s report “only includes eight of the 24 metals actually tested for: Barium, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Sodium and Strontium. The homeowner would not be given results for: Silver, Aluminum, Beryllium, Cadium, Cobalt, Chromium, Copper, Nickel, Silicon, Lithium, Molybdenum, Tin, Titanium, Vandium, Zinc and Boron.”

DEP spokesperson, Kevin Sunday, explained why the agency only tests for certain constituents in his response:

“If you’re looking at runoff from a mine site, that is different from looking at runoff from a landfill, and different from contamination due to hydraulic fracturing,” he said. “These are a Marcellus shale specific list of parameters that are most indicative to that contamination.” Using the same suite, the report would not include results for silver, aluminum, beryllium, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, nickel, silicon, lithium, molybdenum, tin, titanium, vandium, zinc and boron. Sunday also said that in order to deduce contamination brought on by Marcellus drilling, there are a plethora of other tests done. “We have a full set of analysis that we run and gives us a very clear indication whether there was any contamination from drilling,” he said. This analysis includes a pre-drilling baseline water test, testing for volatile organic compounds and hydrocarbons, an examination of the geology, the distance to any drilling operations, and whatever other site-specific factors there may be, he said. Suite 943 and 946 also include additional testing parameters. (Beaver County Times, 11/2/12)

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further:

<span style="font-style: italic"> Was it too much to ask that White research the basic facts before leveling his accusations? Apparently. A little investigation using the Frac Focus gateway to state regulations would have quickly revealed other states, with long histories of oil and natural gas development, follow similar practices as Pennsylvania when testing for potential fluid migration or contamination and test for the same things. They follow the lead of the National Groundwater Association (NGWA) and the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC) which have developed this brochure for landowners discussing recommended steps for testing water both before and after natural gas development. Notice the list of constituents for which they suggest testing and their acknowledgement this can differ from state to state based on several factors:

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Discussion Starter #3
"Ms. Upadhyay's statements are contained in a 336-page transcript of her deposition taken Sept. 26 for an Environmental Hearing Board case. The case, brought by Loren Kiskadden of Amwell, alleges that DEP's investigation of his well-contamination complaint, which did not find contamination, was inaccurate and incomplete.
Responding to deposition questions under oath, Ms. Upadhyay testified that the DEP's lab found aluminum, copper, silicon, lithium, molybdenum, zinc, nickel, cobalt, titanium and boron in Mr. Kiskadden's drinking water, but didn't report those contaminants to him or the department's water quality specialist on the case.
She also said the lab found volatile organic compounds, including acetone, chloroform and T-butyl alcohol -- industry-recognized components of fracking fluid -- in Mr. Kiskadden's water.
But the DEP, in its contamination determination letter to Mr. Kiskadden, dismissed those findings as laboratory error and concluded his water wasn't contaminated by gas drilling operations 3,000 feet from his home."

further:

scientific studies, including one by the Marcellus Shale Coalition in 2009, have routinely identified the heavy metals found in Mr. Kiskadden's water as contaminants in oil and gas flow back and produced water.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/loca.../#ixzz2BCMLZaca
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you went to the doctor with a sprained ankle and during the course of the exam, he/she determined you had extremely high blood pressure, you'd expect him/her to tell you....

The issue is not that the DEP lab didn't test for certain things.. they did, and they found them. The issue is that for whatever reason, they decided to suppress that information.
 

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I say let the fed's investigate. The loser pays the costs..

Bet the complaint goes away.
 

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The representative is wrong. As are the attorneys that are trying their case in the news. If you call the DEP Office of Oil and Gas Management and tell them that drilling has affected your water well, they are going to send out a water quality specialist to collect a sample. (he may or may not know how to interpret the final data), and an inspector that understands the drilling aspects of casing and cementing. When the sample is sent to the accredited lab, a suite is run to analyze for OIL and GAS related chemicals. (There are really only 3 chemicals that are related to oil and gas drilling.)
If there is no proof that drilling has affected their well, then that is what the DEP Office of Oil and Gas is going to tell you. No affect from drilling. That doesn't mean that there aren't other issues with their water wells. DEP told those people that there were chemicals in their wells and that they should look to other issues, such as the JUNK YARD at the one complainants house!!! Including buried cars, tires, waste oil, etc.
This representative and these attorneys are anti drilling activists trying to make a name for themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So is Taru Upadhyay, the division director of DEP’s Bureau of Laboratories, wrong when she said the department’s lab reports to property owners didn’t contain a full array of contaminants found by the lab’s testing.

Is she also wrong when she claims the department’s oil and gas division directed the lab to generate water test reports to homeowners that omitted the full menu of findings for heavy metals (including some carcinogens) and volatile organic compounds?

Link to Taru Upadhyay's deposition: http://www.scribd.com/doc/111821978/Taru-Upadhyay-Depo

Your ad hominem attack on the representative seems a bit disingenuous. I would think the oil and gas industry would want the DEP to maintain sound protocol.
 

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I will guarantee you that Taru Upadhyay has no idea what the Office of Oil and Gas Management does with the results of any of those tests. She oversees the testing, not the results! The attorneys are fishing and the state representative is working with those same attorneys. The anti drilling politicians, like these anti drilling lawyers are asking the wrong questions because they have no clue as to how this industry works. I know the players, I told you I have been involved in many aspects of this industry, including drilling of wells and working with the DEP for over 34 years. Why won't you acknowledge the information that DEP has told these folks that there are contaminants in their water wells! Its not from drilling, but it might be from the years of dumping and storing of old vehicles and waste oil all around their water wells. I don't have an anti drilling newspaper or blog to post to everyday and it is very unethical of these lawyers to argue this lawsuit in newspapers and social media!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
1trueamerican said:
Why won't you acknowledge the information that DEP has told these folks that there are contaminants in their water wells!
cite your source? If the DEP is telling these people there is contamination (from whatever source), then why leave it out of the report they sent to the same people(even though their lab testing found it). Sorry, but I need more than a "because I say so" on this.

And again with the ad hominem attacks. The issue here is the DEP found contamination and suppressed those findings. Whether the representative is anti gas or not really has no bearing on his criticism of the DEP. So far, it's you and the DEP saying well he's anti gas because he voted against act 13. How exactly does that change the fact the DEP suppressed test results as evidenced by their own employees?
 

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They did not suppress test results! The test results show that their water well was not affected by drilling. If the DEP Office of Oil and Gas determined that drilling did not affect the water well, that is what they will report to the complainant. If it is affected by some other contaminants, such as waste from runnoff, the Office of Oil and Gas Management will not make a determination on that because it is not their area of expertise!
The issue here is that the complainant, their attorneys and the representative don't accept this determination. They are crucifying DEP because their clients have had an issue with their water well and the science is not showing the results that they want, that is that the drilling affected their water well.
 

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No matter who produces any test results, those involved on that road in Susquehanna County won't be happy. It's all about the landowners wanting more $$ than they will actually get through royalties. The one antagonist family sold their home and moved to NY. They bought a property there with a gas lease and they sold their property in PA and kept their gas rights to the property. I wonder why? As I've been saying all along, it's all about the $$. They want 100 acre royalty numbers from a few acre parcel. A few more need to move away and our area will be peaceful once again.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
1trueamerican said:
They did not suppress test results!
The DEP Lab ran a battery of tests. The results of which indicated a, b, c, d, etc in the water. The Department of Environmental Protection then sent results to the homeowner. In these results are no mention of a, b c, d, etc of being detected in the water. That by definition is suppression of test results.

David Yoxtheimer, a hydrogeologist at Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (about as far from an anti as you can get) had this to say: "If the DEP finds elevated levels of contaminants — even some not from drilling — in private wells, it would be a common-sense and helpful move to call for further testing and alert those water users"

Jerry Parr, executive director of the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program had this to say on the topic: "I agree that maybe it’s not the right thing to do, but that’s the way it’s been.”

Jesse White (the representative involved) had this to say: “Why should the DEP care if (contamination) came from drilling or not? If they did the test, and they know you have elevated levels of chemicals, what possible reasons would they have for not telling you this? They know, and that’s the crux of all this.”
 

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This is how the anti drilling crowd does it. Complain that drilling ruined your water well. When the DEP tests their water they find that it is not affected by the drilling BUT, they are told that they should not drink their water because there are other chemicals in it that were already in their well. When they don't believe it they find an anti drilling attorney that is willing to take the case. This is the same attorney who is the solicitor of three of the townships that appealed Act 13. Then you get the representative that represents four of the townships that appealed Act 13. When you keep seeing that all of the science is not going your way then you take your lawsuit and try it on social media or in the papers.
Repeat as necessary with impoundments, pipelines and compressor stations.
Please, I have seen this played out quite a few times here in SW PA.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
1trueamerican said:
more information

More of the other side of this case.
This is nothing but a diversion tactic. An ad hominem attack is usually brought about out of desperation. Seems the majority of Sheptstone's articles are nothing but hit pieces recently. I wonder why that is? I don't see how a litigant's prior history or how a representative voted on act 13 has ANYTHING to do with the fact the DEP tested, found contaminants, but DID NOT report that back to the homeowner. That is what is at the crux of this.
 

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G17... sort of stating what you are seeing in the mirror; isn't it?

I mean your posts, nearly everyone of them is anti drilling. So... while you complain of others posting "information" and being;

<span style="font-style: italic"> An ad hominem attack is usually brought about out of desperation. Seems the majority of Sheptstone's articles are nothing but hit pieces recently.</span>


Please explain how your posts and positions are more rational, honest, and unbiased?


I think it will be a huge stretch of the imagination and literary talent to explain your views as anything less than strongly partisan on this issue. Your posting history demonstrates a association with the strong, and some would suggest, less than honest anti drilling crowd. That based on your positions, use of articles and talking points, and the use of, and promotion of these points by you on these forums.


So you suggesting that anyone else is partisan is a bit disingenuous - isn't it?


The white wash your using is less than thin.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Bluetick. I challenge you to provide one instance where I ever used an ad hominem attack in a debate. Having a differing opinion and debating that is not an ad hominem attack. For your information, an ad hominem attack is attacking an opponent's character rather than answering his argument. In the case of shepstone's recent article he attempts to character assassinate the subject rather than addressing the issue. (most of shepstone's recent articles do this). How exactly does a persons prior arrest record and mug shots relate to his claim? I'm not real familiar with the lawsuit but I would agree the most likely cause of this persons water contamination is the junkyard on his property. However, I wasn't even debating that, I was talking about the representative's calling out the DEP for procedures that many, (both for and against gas drilling) believe to be improper. They tested the dude's water and suppressed the results of what they found for whatever reason. That is according to the DEP's own personnel.

Another example of an ad hominem attack would be say if you said you think it's going to rain today and I reply yeah well you got a traffic ticket a year ago so your opinion doesn't matter. It's ludicrous to say the least.

I do find it interesting you bringing up my posting history. Is that an issue for you? Is it also an issue that someone else posting on this topic only posts pro gas stuff?

My posts generally contain my opinions, like you or anyone else I am entitled to my opinions - no? Personally, I don't give a hoot who you want to associate me with. That doesn't deter from anything i've posted and it certainly doesn't make my concerns any less valid.

Partisan (i'm assuming you are using that term for personal opinion) is far from an ad hominem hit piece. Two totally different things. I hope I cleared that up for you. Now just where did I say anything about shepstone, or anybody else for that matter, being partisan? I said he wrote an ad hominem hit piece which, by definition he did. (his latest article trashes both a litigant in a lawsuit and the representative who is attempting to call the DEP to task - nowhere in that article does he address the issue that the DEP did not release positive results that they obtained to the homeowner - this fact being offered up by a DEP employee)
 

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To the point:

You take issue with those on the opposite side of gas drilling and extraction. Your primary premise is that it is dangerous and contaminates ground water.

Yet, you take issue with those in support of drilling and of the industry.

Ad hominem, partisan, whatever. It is what it is. At the end of the day you oppose drilling. No harm, no foul - but your positions will be challenged. So taking issue with the opposition on this or other challenges to EPA, DEP, information coming from the gas companies will be mostly one sided based on position.

Just saying - those that read the forum and posts here are not surprised you have issues with the result.

Like Dimrock and a few other locals in PA - the answers and results didn't come back the way some felt they should have. It just seems the tactic of muddying the waters to gain traction and attention / public support is the main goal of the anti drilling side.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bluetick said:
To the point:

You take issue with those on the opposite side of gas drilling and extraction.

Ad hominem, partisan, whatever. It is what it is.
point 1: I openly debate those with differing opinions, I do not attack their character - which brings us to point 2: Ad hominem and partisan are two completely different things. I challenged you to provide a single instance where I have used an ad hominem attack towards anybody. Simply put challenging someone's opinion by offering your own is called debate - challenging someone's opinion by attacking them personally is called ad hominem. You inferring I did that was 100 percent wrong. So no, it's not what it is. Kindly, do not place words in my mouth.

You want to discuss the issue, I'm fine with that. The issue in this case is that DEP employees have stated under oath that results from their lab tests were not included with the report they gave the homeowner. If it was a matter of the DEP didn't test for things, than fine no harm, no foul. However testing and finding results and then not giving them to the homeowner is a practice that needs to stop. Kudos to Rep. White for making it public. your thoughts?
 
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