Members of the Pennsylvania Republican Congressional delegation met Wednesday with Pennsylvania's acting Department of Environmental Protection head Michael Krancer in Harrisburg to discuss a variety of topics, including the recent radioactive rivers controversy. Basically, the New York Times says Marcellus Shale wastewater might be putting radiation in our drinking water; DEP says it's not. More testing will certainly ensue.

Reps. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair; Bill Shuster, R-Blair; Glenn Thompson, R-Centre; and Lou Barletta, R-Hazelton, pronounced their full confidence in Krancer and said the feds best stay out of our lawn.

In their statements, the members used such phrases as "keeping the commonwealth sovreign" (Murphy), but Thompson wins the brevity and bluntness award with his statement about the meeting, in full: “PA DEP continues to been an effective watchdog in assuring that our natural resources are produced in an environmentally sound manner. I see no reason why the Federal Government should think otherwise.”

The controversial FRAC Act -- co-sponsored in the last Congress by Sen. Bob Casey -- would bring in the EPA to regulate natural gas extraction, which now is done at the state level. Industry leaders and Republicans assert that this would be overly burdensome, not to mention unnecessary because of the aforementioned stellar job DEP already does.

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