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Pennsylvania DEP Secretary-Designee Says Times Disclosures Raise Drilling Questions

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – The man tapped to become Pennsylvania’s environmental protection chief says he’s “ruminating” over a New York Times article raising concerns over radioactivity and other pollution in wastewater from natural gas drilling.

The article, citing “internal documents” obtained by the Times from state and federal regulators and natural gas drillers, claims, among other things, that wastewater is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and “contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known.”

During his confirmation hearing before a state senate committee today, Michael Krancer -– Gov. Corbett’s nominee to be secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection -– said the Times article contains information that needs to be considered.

“That’s what we’re doing, that’s what I’m doing right now.  I’m reading that article like everybody else, and ruminating over it, to be honest with you. We’re looking at it,” he told the committee.

But Krancer says he also disagrees “very strongly” with many of the assertions in the article, including one that he says understates the number people the state has inspecting natural gas wells.

Reported by KYW Harrisburg Bureau chief Tony Romeo.

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