PA Independent Oil & Gas Association President Louis D. D’Amico Thursday issued the following statement regarding the Department of Environmental Protection’s transmittal of the final oil and natural gas regulations (Chapter 78 and 78A) to the Environmental Hearing Board: [Note: Should be Environmental Quality Board.]
“The development of these regulations over the past four years has been flawed to the point of being fraudulent. The modernization of environmental controls was required by Act 13 for the unconventional industry and yet, despite working on these regulations since 2011, DEP has still not explained or shown the need to make them applicable to the conventional industry.
“The reasonableness of these rulemaking packages is not determined by the volume of materials accompanying them, and DEP’s touting its responses to ‘every one of the almost 28,000 comments’ received is disingenuous because many of those comments were form letters and, more importantly, DEP’s responses come too late in the process to have any legitimacy or merit.
“Just as disingenuous is DEP’s reference to the ’20 meetings with the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board and Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee’ as some type of evidence this has been an ‘exercise in transparency in rulemaking.’ One must remember that in the middle of this rulemaking process this administration quietly replaced all of the long-serving and dedicated TAB members and violated the Oil and Gas Act by trying to add new ‘non-voting’ members, and yet still failed to engage TAB and the Conventional Oil and Gas Advisory Committee in the required ‘consultation’ or to provide both with the required ‘reasonable opportunity to review and comment prior to submission of the packages to the EQB.“Repeated references by this administration to whatever it proposes as ‘common sense’ cannot magically transform any of them, especially these rulemakings. We look forward to pressing on with our fight against this abuse of process and extreme regulatory overreach these rulemakings represent.”
DEP Releases Final Chapter 78 Drilling Regulations For Action By EQB