from the inbox:
On his first day in office, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale notified the head of the state Department of Environmental Protection that a performance audit of water programs related to the development of the state’s shale gas reserves would begin next week.
In a letter and phone call to DEP Secretary Michael Krancer, DePasquale noted that the audit will be “a constructive one whereby all entities work together to identify any problems, concerns, and solutions, as well as any positive findings related to our audit objectives.”DePasquale noted that the primary objectives of the audit will be to determine the effectiveness of DEP’s monitoring of water quality impacted by shale gas extraction and to measure DEP’s oversight of the handling and treatment of waste associated with the shale gas process. The audit will cover the period of 2009 through 2012.“As I noted yesterday in my swearing-in remarks, while natural gas drilling has brought new opportunities to small towns and rural communities throughout the state, that same drilling poses challenges to our environmental regulators, our local communities and our natural resources,” the auditor general said. “However, we must strive to grow our economy and protect our environment and public health at the same time.”The auditor general firmly emphasized that the goal of the audit of shale gas drilling and environmental protection is to ensure that Pennsylvania is doing the right thing to protect our waterways and our people while developing a valuable natural resource.