State Police Cite 1,066 Drilling Water Trucks For Safety Violations
Citations were issued to 1,066 of the more than 1,400 trucks inspected late last month under the state's latest enforcement operation focusing on commercial vehicles hauling wastewater from Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operations.
Known as "Operation FracNET," the inspections were conducted October 25-27 by the Pennsylvania State Police and the Department of Environmental Protection.
State police inspected 1,175 trucks, of which 207 were placed out of service because of safety concerns. Fifty-two drivers were also removed from service, while troopers issued a total of 1,057 traffic citations. The most common problems involved unsecured loads and inoperable vehicle lights and lamps.
"Significant truck traffic has resulted in areas of Pennsylvania where Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operations are taking place," state police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski said. "Large numbers of vehicles are required to support the drilling operations and the state is committed to ensuring that those vehicles are in good condition and operated safely."
Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said DEP personnel inspected 254 other trucks during the three-day operation, issuing notices of violation to 65 of the vehicles. DEP staff also issued nine citations.
"These inspections are crucial because they ensure that wastewater haulers are working to comply with the commonwealth's environmental regulations and are keeping our roadways safe for other drivers," Secretary Hanger said. "Taking the time to do so now will go a long way toward making a positive difference as drilling continues."
During FracNET inspections, state police teams check vehicle braking systems, exterior lighting and other equipment that plays a role in operational safety, as well as whether drivers possess the appropriate operator licenses.
DEP inspects a more narrow range of issues pertaining to vehicle weight, proper waste hauler authorizations and standards for maintaining safe and secure loads.
In September, DEP and the state police entered into an agreement that increased funding so that both agencies are to conduct more frequent roadside inspections, helping to ensure waste haulers obey state laws.Most Stopped Marcellus Shale Trucks Cited
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