Wednesday, March 16, 2016

House Environmental Committee Will Review Final DEP Drilling Regulations

Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, announced Wednesday the Committee will be reviewing the final DEP Chapter 78 and 78a oil and gas drilling regulations at its next meeting.
Rep. Maher asked members to provide him with comments and questions on the regulation prior to the meeting.
Under the Regulatory Review Act, the Committee can offer comments to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission or choose to report out a concurrent House-Senate resolution blocking their implementation.
The Senate and House must pass the resolution and present it to the Governor for his action.  The resolution can be signed or vetoed by the Governor.  If he signs it, the regulation is dead and DEP would have to start over.
Rep. Maher has been a critic of the process used by DEP to develop the regulations and voted against them at the February Environmental Quality Board meeting.
The IRRC is scheduled to approve or disapprove the drilling regulations April 21.
The Senate and House are scheduled to vote today on House Bill 1327 (Peifer-R-Pike) amending the Fiscal Code to among other things, kill DEP Chapter 78 conventional drilling regulations as part of the FY 2015-16 supplemental budget package going to the Governor.
The Committee also reported out two bills--
-- House Bill 577 (Moul-R-Adams) authorizing designees with proxy voting rights for certain members of Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (sponsor summary); and
-- House Bill 1895 (Metzgar-R-Bedford) changing the members of the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Board (sponsor summary).  The Committee amended the bill to make it look like Senate Bill 1142 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) reported out of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee Tuesday.
Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny) serves as Majority Chair of the House Environmental Committee and can be contacted by sending email to:  Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by sending email to:

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