New Castle News

May 14, 2014

DEP lacks openness on drilling concerns

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

Kudos to The News for keeping residents informed of events surrounding the industrialization of this area we call home.

Imagine the shock after reading the April 21 edition of “The People Speak” and finding a letter from two government agencies scolding The News for “giving false alarm to residents” and touting that “... Pennsylvania has planned and prepared ... to ensure drilling activity is done safely and responsibly.”

Oh, really? What is the basis for that assurance? The Suite Codes debacle where the DEP’s lab director was forced to admit under the threat of perjury that the DEP deliberately and consistently withheld test results that proved citizens water had been negatively impacted by oil and gas drilling?

DEP officials told citizens of the commonwealth, whose water was contaminated with heavy metals consistent with gas drilling operations in tight shale to drink their water and to bath their children. Read about it here at

On April 17, they were still telling our elected officials it is a “myth” that fracking pollutes ground water despite more than 100 confirmed cases of water contamination. This assurance? Check

The DEP has been equally “forthcoming” about the seismic activity in the area. It is on record as basically ignoring Ohio’s conclusive evidence about the 12 Poland Township frack quakes, the effects of which didn’t stop at the Ohio line. My cracked drywall and water seepage into my basement through foundation cracks are proof of that. Few Lawrence county residents are aware of the Feb. 10 earthquake outside Greenville and the Halcon Utica well operation approximately four miles north.

Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come.

Margaret Henry

Columbiana Road