Shale permits not on 'trigger list' for extra review in poor areas
The state Department of Environmental Protection has granted hundreds of permits for Marcellus Shale gas development in Pennsylvania's poor and minority communities.
None of those permits for gas wells, wastewater impoundments or compressor stations has triggered intervention by DEP's Office of Environmental Advocate to inform residents of those communities about potential health and environmental impacts from proposed industrial developments.
That's because the state's rapidly proliferating Marcellus Shale gas facilities are not included on the list of "trigger permits" the DEP uses to determine when to provide enhanced notification, information and public participation opportunities in those "environmental justice" communities.
And Holly Cairns, new director of DEP's Office of Environmental Advocate, said there are no plans to change that.
"[Marcellus permit proposals] were not recognized as a trigger permit at the time this program was developed," Ms. Cairns said. "And they're not something that's on the table for consideration at this time."