Most stopped Shale trucks cited

Published November 10, 2010

Three-quarters of haulers for drillers came up short in inspections, say state cops.

Three-quarters of trucks hauling water for natural-gas drillers stopped in a recent enforcement operation targeting the gas industry were cited, state police reported Tuesday.

State police on Tuesday released the results of their latest FracNET operation, an enforcement initiative targeting commercial vehicles hauling water for Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operations.

State police and the state Department of Environmental Protection cited 1,066 of the approximately 1,400 trucks they inspected in the operation, conducted Oct. 25 to 27 in areas of the state where Marcellus Shale gas drilling has created increased truck traffic.

“Large numbers of vehicles are required to support the drilling operations, and the state is committed to ensuring that those vehicles are in good condition and operated safely,” state police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski said.

During FracNET inspections, state police teams check vehicle braking systems, exterior lighting and other equipment that plays a role in operational safety, as well as whether drivers possess the appropriate operator licenses. DEP inspects a more narrow range of issues pertaining to vehicle weight, proper waste-hauler authorizations and standards for maintaining safe and secure loads.

DEP Secretary John Hanger said DEP personnel inspected 254 other trucks during the operation, issuing notices of violation for 65 of the vehicles and nine citations.

“These inspections are crucial because they ensure that wastewater haulers are working to comply with the commonwealth’s environmental regulations and are keeping our roadways safe for other drivers,” Hanger said. “Taking the time to do so now will go a long way toward making a positive difference as drilling continues.”

State Police Troop P, Wyoming, which covers Bradford, Sullivan, Wyoming and part of Luzerne counties, conducted 202 inspections, issued 476 citations and placed 84 vehicles out of service.

In addition, DEP’s Northeast region, which covers Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming, conducted 78 inspections and issued four notices of violation and two citations.

In a similar operation in September, Troop P reported violations in 154 of 207 trucks inspected. They issued 401 citations and placed 75 vehicles out of service in that FracNET operation.

Contact the writer MATT HUGHES

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Copyright:  The Times Leader