The executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission says he needs more Waterways Conservation Officers to watch for Marcellus shale drilling impacts on the state’s waterways.
John Arway told Radio PA News his agency is understaffed to the point where they cannot do surveillance on waters near Marcellus shale drilling sites, and can only make simple efforts to effectively respond to complaints. He says the commission is already short by 16 WCO’s, and they really need to make up that shortage and hire another six or seven officers in a special force just to oversee Marcellus activity.
A class for new WCO’s is planned, but Arway says it takes about a year to train and ready them. He says they would need an additional one million dollars in funding, and he hopes state lawmakers will consider the situation if they revisit a severance tax on drillers or amendments to the current impact fees on Marcellus wells.