DEP takes public comment on drilling regulations

Written by Marie Cusick/StateImpact Pennsylvania | Jan 17, 2014 4:22 AM

(Mechanicsburg) -- In the wake of the surge of development in the Marcellus shale, the state Department of Environmental Protection is in the midst of updating its oil and gas regulations, and seeking public input across the state.


Photo by Marie Cusick/State Impact Pennsylvania

The DEP meeting in Mechanicsburg is one of seven the department is holding around the state this month.

About 60 people turned out for the DEP’s latest public meeting to weigh in on the proposed regulations.

They include wide-ranging revisions related to permitting well sites, storing and cleaning up waste, and identifying old abandoned wells-which can be potential pathways for pollution.

"We recognize that it’s not just Pennsylvanians that are interested. Indeed the entire the world is paying attention to what Pennsylvania’s doing. As a result, we wanted to make sure we had ample public input into the rulemaking process," says Scott Perry, DEP Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Management.

He says the agency has gotten so much feedback, it's considering extending the public comment period and scheduling more hearings.

“They feel this is such an important rulemaking it’s imperative that we take as much public comment as we can.”

Three more meetings are already scheduled this month in Washington, Indiana, and Wyoming counties.

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