For Immediate Release
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold a special meeting this evening about the fracking well planned at the Edgar Thomson steel mill in North Versailles. If allowed to proceed, the well would run under the most densely populated communities of any well in the state.
Food & Water Watch has identified substantial deficiencies with the process so far. Despite the fact that Merrion Oil and Gas applied for the incorrect permit (as DEP acknowledged in a letter last month), the agency moved the process forward. The company’s applications are incomplete or contradictory in other areas as well; it is unclear what the company intends to use for a water supply, and how it intends to handle the waste produced on-site. And North Versailles and East Pittsburgh both failed to hold legally required public hearings on the project before issuing conditional use permits.
Food & Water Watch Municipal Ordinance Project organizer Megan McDonough released the following statement:
“At every stage of this process, the relevant municipal leaders, state regulators, and Merion Oil and Gas have failed the public. Residents were not properly notified about the well project, which is a shocking dereliction of duty on the part of local leaders. Democracy rests on an informed and engaged citizenry, and those most impacted by this project have been denied their legal right to weigh in on a project that impacts their health and well-being. Merrion’s numerous errors and deficiencies only make matters worse.
“The DEP must suspend further review of this permit application until these numerous conflicts have been resolved, and local residents are given an opportunity to evaluate the impacts this project will have on their communities.”