Fish & Boat agency seeks gas drilling funds in Pa.

Written by The Associated Press | Jul 16, 2014 2:07 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke

In this Dec. 15, 2010 photo, the Neshaminy Creek is shown after sunset in Chalfont Pa. The natural gas boom gripping parts of the U.S. has a nasty byproduct: wastewater so salty, and so polluted with metals like barium and strontium, most states require drillers to get rid of the stuff by injecting it down shafts thousands of feet deep. Not in Pennsylvania, one of the states at the center of the gas rush. There, the liquid that gushes from gas wells is only partially treated for substances that could be environmentally harmful, then dumped into rivers and streams from which communities get their drinking water.

(Harrisburg) -- The state Fish and Boat Commission says its officers are struggling to monitor possible violations at Marcellus Shale gas drilling sites.

Executive Director John Arway says the agency would like an additional $1 million to hire seven more officers for that task.

The commission previously asked the legislature for the funding, but didn't receive it.

The chief of the agency's law enforcement bureau says they are already short 16 waterways conservation officers, and that many drilling violations don't get investigated.

Officers who stock fish and perform boating safety patrols only investigate pollution incidents reported to that commission.

The state Department of Environmental Protection monitors many other aspects of oil and gas production.

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