Energy. Environment. Economy.

Krancer Says No Worries Over Deep Injection Wells

Susan Phillips / StateImpact Pennsylvania

DEP Secretary Michael Krancer speaks in front of the Sunoco refinery in Marcus Hook, Delaware County.

Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer says deep injection wells are not “an issue that the Commonwealth needs to grapple with at this time.” Deep injection wells take fracking waste water and send it deep within crevices of the earth. Only five of these wells are currently operating in the state. Krancer wrote a letter in response to a request by state Rep. Camille Bud George, who has proposed a two-year moratorium on new injection wells. George had written to Secretary Krancer seeking to start a dialog him and his staff about boosting regulations. But Krancer responded that because the federal government has primacy, his staff has a limited role in permitting deep injection wells.

Unlike his territorial battles with the EPA in the past over drilling related concerns, in his letter to Rep. George, Secretary Krancer praised the EPA’s role in oversight of these wells.

“…it is fortunate that both state and federal regulators have over three decades of experience overseeing the practice at tens of thousands of deep injection well sites around the country.”

Krancer told George that he does not favor a moratorium on new wells.

The Clearfield County Democrat’s bill, called the Injection Well Safe Water Act, would lengthen the minimum distance from water supplies, and fault lines. It would also expand the DEP’s role in reviewing fault lines and monitoring seismic activity.

One of Rep. George’s main concerns is earthquakes. As natural gas drilling expands, so does the need for deep injection wells. A study released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has connected more earthquakes with deep injection wells.

Rep. George criticized Krancer’s rejection.

“This response from the DEP is representative of the Corbett administration’s overall lackadaisical approach to environmental protection,” Rep. George said. “Both the governor and I want to see the gas companies do well in Pennsylvania, but we have to do this right – and that means proper and safe disposal of the drilling wastewater.”

Several new deep injection wells are in the planning process, one in Brady Township, Clearfield County and two in Warren County. On New Year’s Eve, a deep injection well in Youngstown, Ohio caused an earthquake that registered 4.0 on the richter scale.



  • Another Time

    mind boggling…..  do these people have no souls?

  • schlumberjay

    Once again the political arts trump science and law. Krancer’s letter to Rep. George is one of the lamest sales pitches I’ve ever read . . and this guy is a former Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board judge? You just can’t make this stuff up. 

  • Shurfine40

    Two injection wells in Warren County could cause an earthquake that would take out the Kinzua Dam, sending billions of gallons of water through the city of Warren.  Think about it.

    • Steve Rupert

      You don’t even know wherethese wells are, do you? In fact they are over 31 miles from the Kinzua Dam.
      FACTS: The Kinzua Dam is inspected after any seismic event of greater than 5.0 on the Richter scale. That level of event is 100 times greater in energy release than the 4.0 event that was caused by injection occurred at the injection well near Youngstown Ohio. That injection well was in direct contact with a deep fault, a condition that has been evaluated by the EPA, and eliminated as a possibility at the Warren County wells. The Kinzua Dam was inspected by the US Army Corps of Engineers and passed the mandated inspection after the 5.9 earthquale that struck in Virginia on August 23, 2011.
      If you are going to pretend to want “Science and Law” to rule the day, then at least pretend to do your homework and get the science right. EPA REGULATES AND PERMITS ALL INJECTION WELLS IN PA, NOT THE COMMONWEALTH.

  • Vera Scroggins

    Krancer doesn’t understand or worry about any exploitation and rape of our land and Earth;  He is most concerned about keeping the Corporations happy.!

  • Psillywizard

    Basically the problem is that Krancer and Corbett are incompetent about factors that affect environmental quality and only competent about policies that benefit their political objectives.  It is time for the people of Pennsylvania to return professionalism to PaDEP’s leadership, and call for Krancer’s resignation, and then make sure Corbett is a one term Governor.  Pennsylvanian’s deserve leadership in service to the Commonwealth, not in service to the oil and gas industries.

    • Pinball Wizard

      The Underground Injection Control Program has been an EPA program (studied and regulated) since the 1970s under the Safe Drinking Water Act. EPA Region III still enforces the program in PA. Injection wells require two levels of regulatory review. But please, don’t let actual facts interfere with your small-minded and obviously political agenda. PA is not driving the UIC train alone!

  • Ray Bar

    The people we have running the show in Harrisburg have one thing on their mind.. How much more money can I stuff in my pockets born off the gas and oil industry!!!!! As long as these risky, toxic spewing, noisy waste dumps are not in their back yard they could care less. They fail and they fail with frequency! Everyone knows that!! Our political leaders and public servants need to understand they are just that! A government of the people, by the people, and for the people needs to be restored in our great state, and soon !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kathie Muth

    Some of our government officials are not listening to what the people want so are they
    really “Representing” the peoples wishes?? It’s going to take a MAJOR event to open up their eyes and unfortunately, some lives will be lost!!

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »