The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Waynesburg officials are trying to figure out who removed a manhole and dumped up to 4,000 gallons of frack wastewater into a sewer in Waynesburg in late September.

The Waynesburg Sewage Treatment Plant discharges into Ten Mile Creek, which feeds into the Monongahela River.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

John Poister, a DEP spokesman, said the department learned of the fluid dumping incident late last week and will send inspectors to meet with Waynesburg officials this week to determine how the dumping occurred and who did it.

“Waynesburg officials feel they are vulnerable somewhere in their sewer system,” Mr. Poister said. “Someone removed a manhole in a remote location and dumped the fluid.”

He said the fluid had a distinctive odor associated with the shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing.

The person or company that dumped the wastewater could face criminal charges.

And this isn’t the first time someone illegally dumped wastewater from gas operations in Greene County.

In 2012, Allan Shipman, owner of Allan’s Waste Water Service, was convicted of dumping millions of gallons of wastewater, sludge, restaurant grease and other sewage, into mine shafts, streams and onto roadsides for six years across Greene, Allegheny, Lawrence, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

After a two-year investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office, Shipman was sentenced to seven years probation, 1,750 hours community service and nearly $400,000 in fines and restitution.

Reach Natasha Khan at 412-315-0261 or Follow her on Twitter @khantasha.

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Natasha is PublicSource's creative director. She runs the organizations visuals team, edits and produces interactive graphics, data visualizations and web packages for PublicSource. She manages the website...