Investigative news nonprofit Public Herald and more than 50 organizations and individuals (including Green Party Candidate for President, Jill Stein) are calling for a federal criminal investigation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) “for failing to act on drinking water contamination related to shale hydrocarbon development, a.k.a. fracking, and placing public health at risk.”
An open letter and petition calling for the federal investigation has been published at Change.org and currently receiving signatures. The request cites evidence from a 30-month investigation by Public Herald which found “nine ways DEP systematically keeps water contamination cases ‘off the books.’” It’s slated to be sent to the United States House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, Special Agent Clay M. Brown of the US EPA Office of Investigations, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, and 12 additional federal and state offices.
Due to the lack of action and neglect by state and federal officials about the ‘rivers of evidence’ Public Herald released on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection keeping complaints ‘off the books,’ we feel it is our duty as the fourth estate to act on behalf of the public interest and go on record to demand a federal criminal investigation of PA DEP and US EPA.
Public Herald’s investigation defines and corroborates other findings by Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, Harvard School of Law, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Center for Public Integrity.
As Bloomberg reported, investigative journalists Melissa Troutman and Joshua Pribanic originally called for the federal intervention during testimony to the EPA Science Advisory Board panel on June 14th, in Washington D.C.
A press conference including several other letter signers will be held on Wednesday, June 29th, 12:00pm, Paramount Film Exchange Building, Public Herald, 544 Miltenberger St., Pittsburgh PA 15219.
You can add your support by signing our online petition at Change.org. Signatures will be delivered to federal and state investigation offices up to the release of Public Herald’s final series of reports, expected in November 2016.