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Pa. Attorney General Prosecutes Marcellus Shale Driller For Waste Water Spill

File photo: a hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") operation.  Credit Janek Skarzynski/ AFP/ Getty Images.

File photo: a hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) operation. Credit Janek Skarzynski/ AFP/ Getty Images.

Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Marcellus Shale is a layer of rock about 5,000 feet below the earth’s surface and drillers can extract natural gas from it in a process calling fracking.

Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane’s decision to prosecute a driller for a 2010 mishap that resulted in a 50,000 gallon waste water spill is simultaneously being with met with praise and disdain.

Nathan Sooy, central Pennsylvania director for Clean Water Action, hails Kane’s position on this issue:

“The danger to the environment is that this water that has been used in the fracking process has chloride salts in it and other chemicals in it. It’s essentially a toxic waste.”

Sooy says this waste could pollute waterways. Vice President of policy and communications with Marcellus Shale Coalition Steve Forde couldn’t disagree with more with Kane’s decision.

“The chief concern is that this is a bad precedent being set as this has been addressed by the company to the satisfaction of several levels of government already.”

Forde believes that it will drive key business and jobs away from Pennsylvania. Both say they will keep an eye on the case as it proceeds through the courts.

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