• 250 Vehicles put out of service due to violations
HARRISBURG, PA, June 23, 2010 -- The Pennsylvania State Police placed 250 commercial vehicles out of service during a three-day enforcement effort last week that focused on trucks hauling wastewater from Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operations across the state, Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski announced today.
Pawlowski said state troopers worked in partnership with personnel from the Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as part of Operation FracNET. In total, 1,137 trucks were inspected from June 14-16.
"Pennsylvania has experienced significant increases in heavy truck traffic in areas where Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operations are taking place, particularly in Bradford, Clearfield, Susquehanna, Tioga and Washington counties," Pawlowski said. "The process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, requires significant amounts of water to be delivered to the sites and later trucked away."
He said the enforcement effort centered on identifying commercial vehicle safety deficiencies that could lead to crashes.
Pawlowski said 131 of the 250 vehicles placed out of service were trucks hauling wastewater. He said 669 traffic citations and 818 written warnings were issued as the result of wastewater truck inspections. In addition, 23 of the 45 drivers placed out of service during the operation were wastewater vehicle operators.
"As activities at natural gas sites continue to increase, it is important that everyone involved, including the waste transportation industry, understands Pennsylvania's environmental and traffic safety laws and complies with them," said DEP Secretary John Hanger.
The enforcement effort was conducted in areas covered by Pennsylvania State Police troops B, C, F, P and R.
For more information, visit www.psp.state.pa.us or call 717-783-5556.