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2014-06-17T00:00:00.000Z

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Wrong Thomas Randis?

Thomas Randis

Environmental Program Manager

partment

Direct Phone: (570) ***-****       

partment

Background Information

Employment History

Environmental Group Manager
partment

Water Quality Program Manager
DEP

Water Quality Operations Chief for the Region
DEP

Program Director, Water Quality Management
DEP


Pennsylvania Game Commission

Web References (5 Total References)


Water Quality

www.responsibledrillingalliance.org [cached]

"In a receiving stream as large as Pine Creek, a 3,600 gallon discharge is not typically going to cause an environmental degradation," said DEP Water Quality Program Manager Tom Randis.

...
"We did not do a benthic survey because there was no visual fish kill," said Randis.
...
"The solution to pollution is dilution," said Randis.
...
That's relatively insignificant in terms of a mixing zone," said Randis.
Hydraulic Stimulation Fluid is HydroRecovery LP's treated frack water. The exact formula is proprietary, but HydroRecovery confirmed that the fluid spilled by Minuteman contained constituents besides brine.
"We're going to get Minuteman's product data sheets tomorrow," said Randis. "Our investigative findings will be public information. The company would have to follow very specific protocol for that information to remain confidential."
The spill occurred upstream from Jersey Shore Water Authority's Pine Creek intake.
"DEP did not notify the Jersey Shore Water Authority because the intake there is only in operation during low flow periods," said Randis of DEP. "Pine Creek is a backup intake. Larry's Creek is their primary water supply."
DEP opted not to notify downstream residents of the contamination either.
"By the time they got the letter the contamination would have been long gone," said Randis. "Probably to Sunbury by then."
...
"That's a clean streams law violation," said Randis. "We will determine if there will be any fines after we gather all the facts about damage to the receiving stream, what was released, and the response by the responsible party - in this case, Minuteman."
DEP was asked if Minuteman would pay for the clean up effort.
"The only assumption I can make is yes," said Randis.


"We took a number of samples," ...

www.sungazette.com [cached]

"We took a number of samples," said Tom Randis, water quality operations chief for the DEP Northcentral Region, overseeing 14 counties.

On July 1, water quality samples indicated low-oxygen levels but nothing out of the normal range, Randis said Wednesday.
After ordering a "priority" analysis, the water samples were sent the DEP Bureau of Laboratories in Harrisburg.
"An algicide application two weeks prior apparently killed the plants, and the decaying vegetation absorbed the oxygen out of the water table," Randis said, explaining the results. The initial water test showed an almost non-existent level of oxygen, essential for fish to breathe, he said.
Meanwhile, DEP heard from a number of people who were concerned that the fish kill was related to a nearby gas-drilling operation.
"Some people indicated the well pad in the area had discharged toxic chemicals," Randis said.
...
"We knew it would come back," Randis said. "It looked like a more extensive kill and I am surprised it returned so quickly."
If the fracking operation was at fault, metals associated with natural gas drilling would be found, or elevated levels of chlorides or salt, Randis said. They were not. Rather, the club brought the fish kill onto itself.
"I don't think they could have anticipated what would occur," Randis said of the club, which applied the algicide that ultimately was determined to have caused the problem prior to an extended dry spell.
No punitive or corrective action has been taken against the club by DEP. The club applied the chemical at appropriate rates and the permit indicated a controlled spread on the bottom one third of the lake, he said.
"That occurs if the state determines inappropriate application of the algicide or illegal discharge of chemicals into the lake," he said.
The algicide also was applied last year and a fish kill occurred on the lake in 2006 for similar reasons, he said. "One can only assume the club must balance the amount of vegetation with the needs or wants of the fishing community since it is a private lake."
"The fish kill is not an isolated problem," Randis said. The northwest and northcentral parts of the state have been hit the hardest this year. DEP investigated a number of fish kills due to spawning stress, high heat and low oxygen levels, he said.


"In a receiving stream as large ...

www.responsibledrillingalliance.org [cached]

"In a receiving stream as large as Pine Creek, a 3,600 gallon discharge is not typically going to cause an environmental degradation," said DEP Water Quality Program Manager Tom Randis.

...
"We did not do a benthic survey because there was no visual fish kill," said Randis.
...
"The solution to pollution is dilution," said Randis.
...
That's relatively insignificant in terms of a mixing zone," said Randis.
Hydraulic Stimulation Fluid is HydroRecovery LP's treated frack water. The exact formula is proprietary, but HydroRecovery confirmed that the fluid spilled by Minuteman contained constituents besides brine.
"We're going to get Minuteman's product data sheets tomorrow," said Randis. "Our investigative findings will be public information. The company would have to follow very specific protocol for that information to remain confidential."
The spill occurred upstream from Jersey Shore Water Authority's Pine Creek intake.
"DEP did not notify the Jersey Shore Water Authority because the intake there is only in operation during low flow periods," said Randis of DEP. "Pine Creek is a backup intake. Larry's Creek is their primary water supply."
DEP opted not to notify downstream residents of the contamination either.
"By the time they got the letter the contamination would have been long gone," said Randis. "Probably to Sunbury by then."
...
"That's a clean streams law violation," said Randis. "We will determine if there will be any fines after we gather all the facts about damage to the receiving stream, what was released, and the response by the responsible party - in this case, Minuteman."
DEP was asked if Minuteman would pay for the clean up effort.
"The only assumption I can make is yes," said Randis.


"(Thomas) was definitely negligent in the ...

www.sungazette.com [cached]

"(Thomas) was definitely negligent in the operation and maintenance of that treatment plant," Thomas Randis, water quality supervisor for the DEP northcentral region's water quality management program, said.

According to the DEP order, not only did Thomas not comply with agreements to fix or replace the treatment plant, he also refused to purchase a shovel and torch for plant operator Robert Stein to use to patch a leak in the tank.
Thomas said he never profited from the system and had to use money from other businesses he owned to continue maintaining it.He denied the incident with Stein ever occurred.
"I put money into it the whole time," he said.
Thomas said when a business he owned folded in 2004, he no longer had enough money to maintain the system.An attempt to get a rate increase through the Public Utilities Commission was foiled by an administrative foul-up, he said.
Thomas also tried to get the township to take the plant over, but they were unwilling to do it, he said.
Thomas's alleged actions could cost sewer customers a bundle.
...
Randis said DEP had no choice but to order the township to take over the plant.
"It gave us a lot of heartburn to have to do this, to go this route," Randis said."We've taken a number of steps against the owner and the owner's companies.None of them have come to fruition."
"It's really been a rocky road.It has definitely been one of the most difficult cases we've worked on," Randis said.
Thomas denied any wrongdoing and described DEP as "a bunch of gestapo agents" who were trying to coerce him into doing things that he did not have the financial means to do.
"I don't know," he said when asked why the agency took actions against him."Maybe it's just their attitude.That's just their business - to be nasty."
DEP spokesman Dan Spadoni said the problems at the treatment plant were well-documented and the department worked with Thomas to get the problems taken care of.
...
"The evidence speaks for itself," Randis said."I would say we treated him more than fairly."
Reese said that after DEP issued the takeover order, Thomas asked the township to pay him $70,000 for the system, but the township eventually agreed to pay him only $1.
...
"I told (Thomas) $1 was too much," Reese said.
...
A letter from DEP to Peters Consulting Inc., the engineering company employed by Thomas, warned that the concrete walls of the tanks were poorly constructed and that there were numerous hairline cracks in them.The letter was written in 1988, before the plant had even begun operation.
The Lycoming County Planning Commission also knew of the situation and told Thomas in a letter that he would have to seal the walls with hydraulic cement before pending land development plans could be approved.
...
If the walls give way, thousands of gallons of sewage could spill into Beaver Run, which is classified as a cold water fishery, Randis said.
Randis said that depending on the creek's water level, the spill "would biologically wipe (the creek) out for some distance."
Customers would be unable to flush their toilets and the township would have to pay to bring in a bulk storage equipment to collect sewage and truck it off for treatment, Randis said.
Thomas agreed that the plant was poorly constructed, but blamed the Berwick-based contractor who built it.
Although up to this point Thomas may have avoided serious punishment for his involvement with the treatment plant, the state Attorney General's office said Wednesday that its Environmental Crimes Section is investigating him.
...
Thomas confirmed that he had been interviewed recently by an investigator from the Attorney General's office.
The investigation is good news for Houseknecht, who has complained to several governmental agencies about Thomas.
...
"I don't think he'll want to show his face around here," Susan Bitler's husband Ralph said of Thomas.


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www.hqdmeter.com [cached]

Tom Randis PA DEP Northcentral Regional Office trandis@state.pa.us (570) 327-3781

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