The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ( is studying wastewater from natural gas exploration projects in the state to determine whether it poses human health hazards, according to a report by the Associated Press ( published in the Philadelphia Inquirer ( The chemical analysis is expected to be complete by the end of Dec.

A department spokesperson said, regardless of the findings of the study, the gas companies currently performing exploration in Pennsylvania must devise a method of treating the wastewater currently coming out of the wells they are drilling. Meanwhile, exploration companies are asserting that the solution of chemicals, salts, metals and other components of the wastewater they are producing is not hazardous.

To read the full Associated Press article on this story as it was published by the Philadelphia Inquirer, click here.