Pa. said to be ill-equipped for gas-drilling rush

First Posted: 9/30/2008

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) _ A top state environmental official says Pennsylvania is ill-equipped to handle the huge influx of interest in drilling for a potentially lucrative natural gas formation.

John Hanger, the acting secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection, made the comments during a hearing in Harrisburg before the state House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

Hanger told lawmakers that he needs dozens more employees to review drilling permit applications and inspect drilling sites over the gas formation.

He also said he is concerned the state will run out of capacity to treat the contaminated water left over from the drilling process, but that state laws are largely adequate for protecting the environment.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

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