PITTSBURGH - A new report says that Pennsylvania regulators aren't inspecting tens of thousands of oil and gas wells even once a year. But state officials say they're inspecting most new Marcellus Shale wells, and that's the right place to focus.
The report issued Tuesday by Earthworks, a Washington D.C. non-profit, found that more than 66,000 active wells weren't inspected by the Department of Environmental Protection in 2011.
DEP spokeswoman Katherine Gresh says the agency inspected 78 percent of newer Marcellus shale wells in 2011, and that older, conventional wells rarely have problems. She also notes that DEP has increased the number of oil and gas inspectors and staff.
Earthworks says that still means almost a quarter of new Marcellus wells aren't inspected immediately, and that other states have similar problems.