Sierra Club Applauds Gov. Shapiro’s Directive To Rein In Fracking Industry

Contact: Cindy Carr,

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Today, Governor Shapiro announced that he is directing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to begin formal rulemaking processes to start to rein in the hazardous and unchecked pollution of the fracking industry that was documented in the 43rd Statewide Investigating Grand Jury report in 2020 while he was Attorney General.

That report made eight recommendations to protect the public from health and safety risks posed by the fossil gas industry. Today’s announcement starts a process to address some of those recommendations, including the public disclosure of chemicals used in fracking, improved methane emission controls, stronger protections from toxic drilling waste, and safeguards for gathering lines.

The announcement also included a voluntary commitment from a fracking company to address issues such as the revolving door of DEP employees going to work in the fracking industry, and onsite emissions monitoring.

In response, Tom Schuster, Director of the Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter, said the following:

“As Attorney General, Josh Shapiro released a scathing report documenting the abuses of the fracking industry and the failure of the DEP to fulfill its duties to protect the public and environment from industry harms. Sadly, it has been over three years since this report was released and very little has been done until now. 

“We are pleased with Governor Shapiro’s efforts to take steps within his existing authority to address some of the problems highlighted in the report through new safeguards. We look forward to engaging with his administration to create commonsense and necessary protections from fracking waste, toxic drilling chemicals, and climate pollution, as well as transparency requirements for the industry. That said, this is a first step, and more must be done. Voluntary corporate commitments are fine, but we need industry-wide accountability. The General Assembly needs to stop turning its back on frontline communities and pass laws to fully rein in the industry and protect the public.”

About the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.or