Pennsylvania’s DEP issues draft final revisions to well site rules

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (PDEP) released draft final revisions to its oil and gas well protection standards. The state agency decided not to include provisions for noise mitigation and centralized storage tanks for wastewater in the final regulations following the latest round of public comments, it said.

“These rules are the culmination of one of the largest public participation efforts the department has ever seen, with nearly 30,000 comments and 12 public hearings during two public comment periods,” PDEP Secretary John Quigley said as the latest revisions were issued on Aug. 12.

The latest amendments retained amendments to improve water resource protection, add public resources considerations, protect public health and safety, address property owners’ concerns, and enhance transparency and improve data management that were in the original proposal this spring (OGJ Online, Mar. 10, 2015).

PDEP said that separate amendments would apply to conventional and unconventional oil and gas production operations. The draft final revisions will be discussed at day-long meetings of the Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee (COGAC) on Aug. 27 and the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board (TAB) on Sept. 2 at the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg. Both meetings will be webcast, it noted.

The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association and other trade groups in the state did not respond immediately to PDEP’s announcement.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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