A ‘Gas Migration Investigation’ (GMI) is conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection whenever an uncontrolled release of methane gas related to fracking is reported and confirmed by the Department (in our experience it’s only related to water contamination). This doesn’t happen for every case, but it’s presumed to happen when attempting to obtain documents related to such a case. In our experience at Public Herald, if you request GMI related public documents without asking for GMI files you will not be provided with the GMI documents. Although, DEP often makes GMI’s ‘confidential’ citing exemptions within the Right to Know Law allowing for ‘internal investigations’ such as GMI’s to be confidential (these exemptions when contested do not often hold weight with the Office of Open Records who handles appeals to RTKL). Gas Migration Investigations contain some of the most important information regarding water contamination in DEP’s records.