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Lawmakers want PEMA to explain lack of notification about drilling waste in river

| Monday, March 11, 2013, 6:54 p.m.

Two state senators want the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to explain why authorities didn't notify local officials in Beaver and Lawrence counties about the illegal dumping of wastewater in Ohio.

In a letter sent last week, state Sens. Elder Vogel Jr., R-Beaver County, and Lisa Baker, R-Luzerne County, said they asked PEMA to “conduct an immediate review of a critical communications breakdown.”

PEMA, state police, the region's U.S. Coast Guard district and 15 other agencies received notice within a day of Ohio investigators witnessing illegal dumping on Jan. 31 in Youngstown, federal records show. But in the days that followed, none of them told the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection or two Beaver County drinking water suppliers downstream, officials said.

A PEMA spokeswoman could not be reached Monday evening.

Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or tfontaine@tribweb.com.

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