Charlotte Weisberg: Important Resources

1. John Quigley
John Quigley is the current Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) secretary. The PA DEP is the primary regulator of wastewater disposal and all fracking waste for Pennsylvania. Quigley has extensive experience in the field. He worked as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) for two years prior to being appointed secretary of the PA DEP. He has worked with the top leaders in gas, timber, and coal industries and has helped lead PA to a top spot nationally in the energy producing industry. Quigley is typically noted as having a pro-fracking viewpoint and is pushing to make Pennsylvania a leader in shale gas production. However, he has pushed for new stricter regulations on open air pit disposal in Pennsylvania, making it a very difficult option for fracking companies to use. To contact him, fill out an online contact form at http://www.dep.pa.gov/About/Contact/Pages/default.aspx#.VmeBjoShjzI under the category in which you are interested.

2. Environmental Protection Agency- Safe Drinking Water Act
The EPA’s SDWA controls almost all regulation of fracking waste at the federal level. All state regulations must at the very least meet the requirements of the SDWA. All wastewater underground injection is part of the Underground Injection Control (UIC) program; a party of the SDWA. Therefore all disposal through underground injection must meet the SDWA requirements as well.

There is minimal federal regulation under the SDWA due to the Halliburton Loophole which classifies all wastes from natural gas production to be non-hazardous. Yet the SDWA is the strongest form of regulation that some states have and therefore is an important act to understand when considering wastewater disposal methods. To contact the EPA about the SDWA, email Kenneth Schefski, director of the waste and chemical enforcement division, at schefski.kenneth@epa.gov. Or contact Mark Pollins, director of the water enforcement division at pollins.mark@epa.gov

3. Clean Water Action
Clean Water Action is a large non-profit organization which works to protect the environment from pollution of water resources as well as enhance human health and quality of life. Made up of thousands of members, Clean Water Action has been successful in organizing grassroots organizations and campaigns across the country targeted toward environmental issues both on a global and national scale.

Clean Water Action is an important resource in understanding the controversial methods of wastewater disposal because they have contributed many studies and research to the subject. A group from Clean Water Action completed a study on open air pits in California in 2014 which exposed hundreds of unknown pits to the public and drove awareness of the company’s followers and many others to the issue of unregulated disposal. To contact Clean Water Action’s President and CEO Robert Wendelgass: (215)-545-0250; or contact John Noel, Clean Water Action’s National Oil and Gas Campaigns Coordinator at (202)-895-0420.

4. Brian G. Rahm
Brian Rahm is a researcher at Cornell University’s New York State Water Resources Institute. Dr. Rahm has a Ph.D from Cornell University in groundwater contamination and an environmental engineering degree from University of California at Berkeley. His research primarily focuses on greenhouse gas emissions from wastewater treatment plants. Dr. Rahm is a notable resource in the field of wastewater management and has spoken at various conferences on issues involving fracking waste. At the NY State Water Resource Institute, he works toward improving the management of water resources in NY and increasing awareness of wastewater management issues. To contact Dr. Rahm, his e-mail address is bgr4@cornell.edu

5. United States House of Representatives—Committee on Energy and Commerce
Led by congressman Fred Upton, the committee focuses on issues such as health, environment, commerce, energy, and technology. While the committee covers a wide array of issues, they offer important regulatory information about what is happening with the energy industry at the federal government level. The Committee oversees the EPA’s SDWA and the UIC program and any other regulations of hazardous waste from oil and gas production. The E & C Committee is the best resource for all federal regulation information other than the EPA. The Committee can be reached directly at (202)-225-2927. All fact sheets and information posted by the committee can be found at http://energycommerce.house.gov/news/fact-sheets