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Thursday, April 21, 2016

IRRC Ignores Political Pressure From PA Legislators & Approves New Gas & Oil Regulations

Independent Regulatory Review Commission Approves Oil and Gas Regulations

The Independent Regulatory Review Council (IRRC) has approved revisions to Pennsylvania’s oil and gas drilling regulations today, continuing on the process that modernizes and strengthens the “Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites” (Chapters 78 and 78A) rulemaking. The regulations amend the environmental controls employed by both the conventional and unconventional industries to assure the protection of public health, safety, and the environment.

“I am pleased that IRRC moved these important regulatory
updates closer to the finish line. The Chapter 78 and 78A regulations have been written with an unprecedented amount of public participation, including from the conventional and unconventional drilling industries,” said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary John Quigley. “This final regulatory package will improve protection of water resources, add public resources considerations, protect public health and safety, address landowner concerns, enhance transparency, and improve data management.”

Among the changes to the current regulations:

Improved protections of public resources: Operators must provide notice if drilling would be near school property and playgrounds, parks, forests, and other public resources.
Strengthened water supply restoration standards: If oil and gas development degrades a water supply, the operator must restore or replace the supply with one that meets Safe Drinking Water Act standards or is as good as pre-drilling conditions if the water supply was better than the Drinking Water Act standards.
John Quigley

Electronic filing: In order to more efficiently track well development and operations, and to provide better public access to drilling data, operators will be required to submit electronic forms rather than paper.

“These changes are the result of tens of thousands of comments from industry and Pennsylvania residents, and our experience with the industry. They represent a balanced and incremental approach,” said Quigley.

The regulatory package will now be reviewed by the Legislature. After that, the regulations will be reviewed by the Attorney General’s office before being published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.


Drill? Hell Yes! said...

Learn that face!! He will be the cause of more job losses in the O&G industry in PA than low prices ever thought of doing. He will try to over regulate this industry that has existed COMPLETELY WITHOUT his DIRECTION and oversight for over 150 years. The industry does NOT need his guidance nor regulations. The new rules that he wants forced onto the local shallow oil well producers will drive them out of business. With that, International Waxes, ARG and United Refining will struggle to get local crude which is their lifeblood. How many people work at these facilities? How many people supply oil to these facilities? How many people are employed in the ancillary businesses that support these facilities? How much tax money is paid from these refineries? Even the charitable donations to the communities? Pipe, fittings, trucks, tools, clothing, fuel. The list goes on and on. These are ALL businesses that will be severely affected by this legendary tree hugger. Yes, there is oversight needed in any industry but ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL!! The only similarity between a shallow well and a shale well is they start with a hole in the ground. It ends there. The drilling is different, the casing is different, the cementing is different.
WE ALL know multiple people that are employed and paid with dollars generated in the local shallow well industry. In closing, WE ALL need to do what we can to stop this chicanery. To the local producers, drillers etc. What can the community at large do to help our friends and neighbors?
For all of the other "environmentally friendly individuals" aka tree huggers. When you start heating your home with wood harvested by hand, ride a horse that is fed with hay harvested by hand, don't travel on macadam roads, live in an environment with ZERO plastic, you can preach how we don't need oil and oil related products. Until then, WISE UP. Yes, we need to start looking at alternate sources of energy but until then, petroleum based products are the bridge fuel to get us there. CNG fueled vehicles. Natural gas, fuel oil and electric for home heating. Natural gas and coal powered electrical generation facilities are still needed until wind, solar, geothermal are efficient enough to provide enough power at a REASONABLE COST!!
Full disclosure, I am NOT employed nor ever have been employed in the local O&G industry, but I AM a community member who sees what is happening to the backbone of our local economy.

Anonymous said...

perhaps if ya'll wern't such pigs and treated us landlubbers like 2nd class citizens, stealing our lumber, littering the forest with your tons of trash (yes, we have pictures ya slobs, sadly, lots and LOTS of pictures of the trash you leave in our forests), ignored our efforts to work WITH you on placement, shut us up when we've been harmed, shorted us on our royalties, screwed us with liens, gone bankrupt and walked away from hundreds of thousands of well...

Perhaps if you hadn't done all of the above...

These new regs wouldn't be necessary

Good neighbors my ass. You've been the big bully in the schoolyard and someone finally stood up and said enough.