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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Modification Of Regulations To Remove Scrutiny Of Pipeline Permits Is In Comment Period

A Year End Present to the Fracking Industry?
Quite Likely. 

A message from Stephen Kunz, Senior Ecologist at Schmid & Company, Inc. 
As Posted by Responsible Drilling Alliance
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) is proposing to modify and reissue Chapter 105 General Permit 8, as published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on November 2, 2013. Public comments on this proposal are being accepted until January 10, 2014. 

This one is really important, so please take the time to submit comments.

The proposed GP-8 would allow, without technical review, virtually unlimited impacts to wetlands and streams from "temporary" activities, defined as up to two years, that currently need an Individual Permit, things like large-capacity (24-inch inside diameter) pipelines carrying "pollutional materials," which is undefined, but presumably includes fracking and flowback fluids.

 As you may know, projects relying on Chapter 105 General Permits like this receive virtually no review by the PADEP. Indeed, it actually is a "registration" process rather than an approval process. If a project sponsor believes his proposed work meets the requirements of a General Permit, he simply registers to use it--on the "honor system"--and the PADEP returns a simple "acknowledgment" that the registration was received. No oversight, no public review, and GP registrations are no longer published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

The proposed modification of GP-8 seems to be a veiled attempt to create an umbrella General Permit that can authorize virtually unlimited impacts to wetlands and streams from a wide range of activities primarily associated with oil and gas operations, although of course it is not framed that way.

I have already prepared and submitted my comments which I shared with the Citizens Advisory Council at their meeting in Harrisburg last month. I am encouraging others to prepare comments, too. Feel free to modify or tailor my comments for your own use, and to circulate them as widely as possible.

Given the timing of the public comment period for this GP-8 rule change--at the end of the year when most people are busy with Holiday activities--I assume PADEP is doing its best to keep this one under the radar, and to give a nice present to the folks in the fracking industry.

Remember, you have until January 10, 2014 to submit your comments.

Comments can be emailed to:

or mailed to:

Kenneth Murin, Chief
Division of Wetlands, Encroachments, and Training
PADEP Bureau of Waterways Engineering and Wetlands
P.O. Box 8460
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8460

Editor's note: Mr. Kunz's message was edited for for this article.


Anonymous said...

Your elected leaders would gladly see you poisoned for their gain without even a second thought.

They don't care about you, they use you and take advantage of your ignorance to do whatever they want with YOUR, OUR, God given resources.

They want to take us for all we're worth, leave us with nothing and take no responsibility for anything they do in the process.

I'm sure we'll get some insightful comments from the yokels about 'Obummer', maybe something about the communist librull mentality

and whatever else leaks out of their rural brains in between bouts corporate television brainwashings.

Anonymous said...

People who own wetlands have no rights to mess with these lands so why should the company's have rights to do so?

Anonymous said...

Certainly our politicians, the people who are representing us, are not doing this for the good of the people they represent. Democracy in American has become a sham! And the only way to solve the problem is to establish term limits to legislators that will put and end to career politicians. Don't give the corporations the chance to buy our political leaders; keep a fresh crop coming.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that citizens of this area and country think that these companies actually care about us? Look at how U.S. owned companies use people in other countries to make cheap products to be sold here. For God's sake, children are dying making OUR clothing, etc., etc... Why wouldn't they poison us, too, for their gain?

Anonymous said...

827 what makes you think term limits are going to do anything except make the revolving door spin faster for legislators to get high paid comfy lobbiest jobs with the people they really write all those laws for.

it's the money. if you can't get the money out of politics then you're screwed. but with "grass roots" movements like the tea party being funded by a foreign owned news station and the mega-billionaires like the Kochs, we are truly screwed.

What you see now is the best government money can buy.

You can tell it's run by the rich

because every time you turn around, some multimillionaire "journalist" is telling you how the POOR are to blame for everything.