Source: PA Attorney General Josh Shaprio
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced the findings and recommendations of Pennsylvania’s 43rd Statewide Investigating Grand Jury report on the unconventional oil and gas industry. The Grand Jury’s two-year investigation uncovered systematic failure by government agencies in overseeing the fracking industry and fulfilling their responsibility to protect Pennsylvanians from the inherent risks of industry operations.
In addition to exposing failures on the part of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health, the Grand Jury made eight recommendations to create a more comprehensive legal framework that would better protect Pennsylvanians from the realities of industry operations.
“This report is about preventing the failures of our past from continuing into our future,” said Attorney General Shapiro in a press conference Thursday. “It’s about the big fights we must take on to protect Pennsylvanians — to ensure that their voices are not drowned out by those with bigger wallets and better connections. There remains a profound gap between our Constitutional mandate for clean air and pure water, and the realities facing Pennsylvanians who live in the shadow of fracking giants and their investors.”
This report follows the findings of the Grand Jury’s previous criminal presentments against two fracking companies — Range Resources and Cabot Oil & Gas — for their repeated and systematic violation of Pennsylvania environmental law. Range has since pleaded no contest to environmental crimes committed in Washington County, Pennsylvania. These cases were referred to the Office of Attorney General by local District Attorneys.