August 16, 2013

Aug. 19 PA Environment Digest Now Available

The Aug. 19 PA Environment Digest is now available.  Click here to print entire Digest.

Proposed Drilling Regulations Will Be On Aug. 27 EQB Meeting Agenda

The proposed Chapter 78 drilling regulations implementing the environmental protection provisions of Act 13 Marcellus Shale drilling law have been posted and will be considered at the August 27 Environmental Quality Board meeting.  It will be the only item on the agenda.
The future of the proposed regulations was in doubt after the five members of DEP’s Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board wrote a letter to DEP and members of the Environmental Quality Board saying the proposed regulations were not ready for public review.  The Advisory Board had given their go-ahead to publish the proposed regulations for comment in April.
The EQB meeting will be held in Room 105 of the Rachel Carson Building starting at 9:00.
Click Here for all available Chapter 78 handouts, including for the first time, the Regulatory Analysis Form for the proposal.
TAB Subcommittee Meeting
At the DEP Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board subcommittee meetings this week in State College, John Walliser, PA Environmental Council, raised concerns with the TAB’s July 18 letter to the Environmental Quality Board and its implications for the subcommittee process.
As a result of the letter, which establishes TAB's final recommendations to the Environmental Quality Board with respect to the rulemaking proposal, Walliser requested that TAB cede facilitation of the process to DEP.
The subcommittees were charged with having an open dialog on important provisions related to: public resource protection, pre-hydraulic fracturing assessment, waste management at well sites,  and water supply restoration standards.
DEP declined to assume management of the subcommittee process, but Scott Perry, DEP Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Management, said DEP will weigh all comments it receives through the subcommittee process equally, including any recommendations from the TAB.
To the extent DEP can get consensus on the issues, great, he said; where they do not, DEP will make the decision on how best to proceed and the comments they received through the subcommittee process will be helpful in informing their judgment.
September Meeting Change
At the end of the Advisory Board meeting Thursday, it was announced the subcommittee meetings planned for September 18 and 19 would likely be reduced to one day, but they did not say which day.
For more information, visit the DEP Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board webpage.