PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There are growing concerns about the safety of Marcellus Shale drilling in our area.

Now, Pennsylvania is considering legislation to put stricter safety requirements on the industry.

The move comes as the drilling companies are becoming more and more defensive about their safety record.

When a Marcellus Shale natural gas well blew out Tuesday night in Bradford County, it sent more fears across the state for people who live near other wells.

“Because the chemicals that came out, they had to evacuate eight families. They had to tell farmers they can’t let the cows drink the water. These are the kind of concerns I have,” Murrysville Mayor Bob Brooks said.

Brooks has reason for concern. The pristine reservoir that provides water to his community, sits right down the street from a Marcellus Shale well and more are planned nearby.

“We’re going to get a situation where a spill can happen and a 150,000 people don’t have drinking water. Those are the things I worry about,” Brooks said.

Fears continued to grow earlier this week when it was revealed that Marcellus Shale drilling discharge was putting high concentrations of bromides in our rivers. Bromides, combined with other chemicals are linked to cancer and birth defects.

The man in charge of water for Range Resource’s drilling company nervously spoke to KDKA-TV’s Paul Martino about those discharges.

“I believe that the DEP and the city of Pittsburgh and the industry has their best…they want to protect the public as much as the public themselves,” Pete Miller said.

While Range Resources is now recycling all of its discharge, the company once disposed some of its waste water at treatment plants. It was one of many issues addressed at a legislative hearing in Murrysville, where lawmakers are drafting a new law.

“I have complete confidence that we’re going to get it right by the time we’re all said and done. The quicker the better,” Rep. Dave Reed said.

For now, communities like Murrysville are calling for a moratorium on drilling.


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