AP Style?

Associated Press hit piece targeting Marcellus producers in PA takes months to assemble – and only hours for DEP, MSC, others to expose as “misleading”

AP Lets Sensational Story on PA Wastewater Fly on a Monday … … One Day Later, Readers Learn the Actual Truth
Pa. allows dumping of tainted waters from gas boom

David Caruso
Associated Press
Jan. 3, 2011

“Pennsylvania has been the only state allowing waterways to serve as the primary disposal place for the huge amounts of wastewater produced by a drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing.”   “This is an outrage,” said Tracy Carluccio, deputy director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, an environmental group. “This is indicative of the lack of adequate oversight.”

“A number of gas drillers have begun recycling wastewater in other parts of the country to cut down on the costs of disposal and of obtaining the fluids needed for new fracturing jobs.” (Associated Press, 1/3/11)

… 2,500 words later

“In some respects, it’s better than what’s already in the river,” he said of the water his plant discharges into the Conemaugh. “What we are putting into the river now is far cleaner, and far more eco-friendly than what was running in naturally from acid mine drainage.” (same story, buried down in 57th paragraph)


DEP chief: AP story on gas drilling wastewater misleading

Tim Stuhldreher
Central Penn. Business Journal
Jan. 4, 2011

“Monday’s Associated Press story on the disposal of wastewater from natural gas drilling misleadingly downplayed important regulatory reforms, Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said.” (1/4/11)


Pa. is monitoring Marcellus shale wastewater

John Hanger – DEP Secretary
Allentown Morning Call (letter to the editor)
Jan. 5, 2011

“It’s appalling that David Caruso’s Associated Press Jan. 4 article would be posted and published based on the sensational premise that Pennsylvania isn’t protecting drinking water sources from drilling wastewater.”

“Here’s the reality: Every drop of tap water that was publicly treated is required to meet the safe drinking water standard.”

“We’ve doubled the number of oversight staff and now have arguably the nation’s most aggressive oversight program. That’s the real story here, but government doing its job doesn’t grab headlines the way a piece like David Caruso’s does. That’s disappointing.” (Hanger LTE, 1/5/11)

“Waste water (fluids) must be reused and recycled, or collected and treated at an authorized waste water treatment facility. DEP approval is required before the receiving treatment facility can accept the wastewater for processing and/or disposal.” (PA DEP Marcellus fact sheet, released 11/08)

Most water from drilling is recycled
MSC president Kathryn Klaber
Washington Observer-Reporter (letter to the editor)
Jan. 7, 2011

“Pennsylvania’s natural gas producers, on average, recycle more than 90 percent of the water that returns to the surface. The rest is delivered to underground injection sites … whose location, construction, maintenance and inspection are regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

“[T]he industry is committed to being a zero-discharge operation in the state’s surface waters and continues to lead the nation in recycling technologies and practices.” (Klaber LTE, 1/7/11)

The rest of the story
MSC president Kathryn Klaber
Centre Daily Times (letter to the editor)
Jan. 7, 2011

“Thanks to advances in technology, producers are able to access more clean-burning natural gas by drilling fewer wells, lessening impacts to the land and reducing the volume of water needed to do the job.” (Klaber LTE, 1/7/11)

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AP myth: Producers recycling water in “other parts of the country” – but not in PA?!

Fact: PA producers recycle more water from shale development than all other states combined

Recycling of waste water to be norm for Marcellus Shale gas wells
Rick Stouffer
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Oct. 20, 2009

“Major companies drilling for natural gas in Western Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale rock formation are or soon will be recycling all the waste water recovered from their operations, executives said Monday.”

Drilling plan includes recycling
Staff Reports
Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
Oct. 28, 2010

“It makes sense to reuse this water,” said Ron Schlicher, an engineer consulting for the treatment company. “The goal here is to strive for 100-percent reuse, so we don’t have to discharge.” (10/28/10)

AP Forced to Re-Examine Its Claims on Recycling in Follow-Up

“…all of the state’s biggest drillers say they are now recycling a majority of the wastewater produced by their wells in new fracturing jobs, rather than sending it to treatment plants. Hanger said about 70 percent of the wastewater is now being recycled …” (Associated Press, 1/4/11)

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Never let the facts get in the way of the story:

“The AP did not contact DEP for the story, [Hanger] said.” (Central Penn. Business Journal, 1/4/11)