Volz, Pitt Part Ways

Last week I told you how Junkscience.com’s Steve Milloy outed the University of Pittsburgh’s Conrad “Dan” Volz and his deeply flawed report that alleged Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling is contaminating drinking water supplies in Pennsylvania. Volz had to make corrections to his report, but Milloy still found several errors in the revision.

On Sunday the Tribune-Review reported that Volz is leaving Pitt:

A University of Pittsburgh researcher who is a vocal critic of Marcellus shale drilling said Saturday he is leaving his post because the university won’t allow him to speak publicly about environmental issues, not because of online criticism of his work.

Conrad “Dan” Volz, director of the Center for Healthy Environments and Communities at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health, said he was not fired or under pressure to resign, but finds he has a calling for advocating for public health.

Volz testified before Congress earlier this week on the fracking issue and his water reports. But he leaves on the table a $250,000 grant from the Heinz Endowments to Pitt’s CHEC, in which Volz was tasked to find environmental threats and assess them. WTAE-TV reports (unable to embed video) that Volz leaves much research unfinished, and that “he never did publish his findings from an air quality study he began last year.”

Clearly Milloy’s expose’ was a problem, and as I wrote last week, Volz is well-known for his enthusiastic alarmism that is sometimes spiced with profanity. Not every academic crowd can embrace such a personality.