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Media Contact:

For Immediate Release:
Cory Clemente, Communications Manager @ Protect PT, 724.392.7023, cory@protectpt.org

Justin Wasser, Senior Communications Manager @ Earthworks 202.753.7016, jwasser@earthworks.org

Trafford, PA – Video evidence captured by Earthworks while working with Protect PT shows leaking pollution from an equipment failure at a methane gas well pad on the grounds of Trafford Elementary & Middle schools. This is now the third pollution event documented from this wellsite by Earthworks in just three investigations in less than three years.

These emissions are highly likely to contain components hazardous to public health. The site is located on school grounds, approximately 100 feet from an entrance to the elementary school, and is owned by Kriebel Acquisition, one of the highest revenue-generating operators in the business of conventional oil and gas in PA.

“No parent of school kids or any resident of Pennsylvania should be forced to accept the kinds of health risks that come from pollution exposure,” said Gillian Graber, Executive Director of Protect PT. “The medical science is clear that polluting oil & gas sites should not be built close to where people live, work & play.”

This most recent video was captured April 16th, 2023. The previous Earthworks’ investigation of this well was in July 2022 and November 2021. All investigations were conducted using an industry-standard optical gas imaging camera by a trained and certified thermographer.

“After three years of finding this gas well polluting the Trafford school grounds, we have to ask who will be held responsible for the continued failure to protect these children?” asked Melissa Ostroff, Earthworks Pennsylvania Policy and Field Advocate. “And knowing how frequently oil & gas wells pollute, why do Pennsylvania continue to allow wells to be drilled right next to schools where children go to learn every day?” 

After filing a complaint with Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)  for a leak found in 2021, the operator fixed the leak, which Earthworks confirmed in 2022. However, during the 2022 investigation, Earthworks found a different equipment failure at the site. The equipment failure documented in this video is the same failure found again in 2023. This suggests that this well has been leaking, at least, since July of last year. Prior to a community member complaining about the site in 2020, DEP had not inspected the site since 1998 — for over 20 years. 

A new complaint has been filed with the DEP.