Pa. State Police: 131 Trucks Placed Out of Service

The Pennsylvania State Police, working with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, placed 131 trucks out of service during a two-day enforcement effort focusing on commercial vehicles hauling waste water from Marcellus shale natural gas drilling operations in the state, announced Commissioner Frank Noonan.

Noonan said 731 commercial trucks were inspected March 14-15 during "Operation FracNET." He said 14 drivers were placed out of service and state troopers issued 421 traffic citations and 824 written warnings. In addition, DEP personnel issued 35 citations and 13 written warnings. The most common violations involved faulty brakes and insufficient exterior lighting, Noonan said.

"Extracting natural gas from Marcellus shale involves hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which requires significant amounts of water to be delivered to the sites and later trucked away," Noonan said. "Our efforts focused on identifying vehicle safety deficiencies that could lead to crashes."

He said state police Troops A, B, C, F, P and R participated, as well as personnel form DEP's Southwest, Northwest and North-central Regional Offices.