The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) placed 208 trucks out of service in a three-day enforcement sweep that focused on commercial vehicles that haul wastewater from Marcellus Shale gas drilling sites, Police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski said Wednesday.
One hundred and forty of the vehicles taken out of service were trucks that haul wastewater from drilling operations, said the PSC. In total 1,135 trucks were inspected during "Operation FracNET," which was conducted Sept. 27-29.
"Pennsylvania is experiencing heavy truck traffic in areas where Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling operations are taking place, particularly in Bradford, Clearfield, Susquehanna, Tioga and Washington counties," Pawlowski said. "The process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, requires significant amounts of water to be delivered to the sites and later trucked away."
Other vehicles taken out of service by the PSC included trucks used in support of drilling operations and some that are not involved in drilling operations but that were traveling on roads where inspections were done.
In addition to placing vehicles out of service, state police also issued 959 citations and placed 64 drivers out of service. The most common problems involved faulty brakes, exterior lighting issues and hauling permit violations, said PSC. In an inspection sweep by the PSC June 14-16, troopers placed 250 trucks and 45 drivers out of service and issued 669 citations.