Monday, February 17, 2020

Pennsylvania DEP advances final regulation on oil and gas well sites

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently advanced its final “Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites” regulation to the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) for review.

“These regulatory changes are balanced, incremental and appropriate. They protect public health while enabling responsible drilling to proceed,” DEP Secretary John Quigley said. “These rules are a long time coming — more than four years — and were written with an unprecedented amount of public participation and transparency. We’ve worked hard to ensure that the health and safety of our citizens are protected, and the needs of industry are being met.”

The regulation works to modernize and reinforce the Environmental Protection Agency’s current environmental controls, including better protection of water resources and public health, and adding public resources consideration, among other items.

“It’s important to emphasize the role of the public and stakeholders in this process. Across a dozen public hearings, two public comment periods that attracted almost 28,000 comments, and 20 meetings with the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board and Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee, this has been an exercise in transparency in rulemaking,” Quigley said. “These rules present a distinct, substantive separation of regulatory provisions applicable to conventional and unconventional wells. They will allow the oil and gas industries in Pennsylvania to continue to flourish, while adding additional common-sense environmental and public health safeguards.”

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Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

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