Pennsylvania State Police report that they put 208 trucks out of service during a recent three-day enforcement effort that focused on commercial vehicles hauling waste water from Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operations.
"Pennsylvania is experiencing heavy truck traffic in areas where Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operations are taking place," Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski said in comments to the press. He noted that traffic was particularly heavy in Bradford, Clearfield, Susquehanna, Tioga and Washington counties. "The process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, requires significant amounts of water to be delivered to the sites and later trucked away," he explained.
Pawlowski said that140 of the vehicles placed out of service were trucks hauling waste water from the drilling operations. The other 68 trucks were being used in support of drilling operations, or non-industry related commercial vehicles simply traveling roads where the inspections took place.
PA police inspected a total of 1,135 during the "Operation FracNET," which was conducted Sept. 27-29. In addition to placing vehicles out of service, they also issued 959 citations and placed 64 drivers out of service. The most common violations cited were faulty brakes, exterior lighting issues and hauling permit violations.
This isn't the first time PA police have caught gas industry trucks flouting safety regulations. During an "Operation FracNET" held June 14-16 the troopers placed 250 trucks and 45 drivers out of service and issued 669 citations.