Wednesday, April 6, 2016

House Environmental Committee Meets April 12 On DEP Drilling Regulations

The House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is scheduled to meet on April 12 for a voting meeting on DEP’s Chapter 78 (conventional) and 78a (unconventional) final drilling regulations.
Among the Committee’s review options under the Regulatory Review Act are sending a letter disapproving of the regulations, issuing an early intent to extend its review time 14 days beyond the April 21 meeting the Independent Regulatory Review Commission has set for action on the regulations or reporting out a concurrent, House-Senate resolution disapproving of the regulation.  If passed by the House and Senate, the resolution would then be presented to the Governor for his action.
Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny), Majority Chair of the Committee, 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.
At a March 16 meeting of the Committee, Rep. Maher asked Committee members to provide him with comments on the regulations.
Rep. Greg Vitali (D-Delaware), Minority Chair of the Committee, last week organized 18 other House members to write to the IRRC in support of DEP’s drilling regulations.
The meeting will be in Room 205 Ryan Building starting at 9:30. Click Here to see if the meeting will be webcast.
It is widely expected the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee is considering a meeting on the regulations next week as well, since the Senate and House Calendars have them in voting session only the week of April 11 and then they take a break until the week of May 2 and 9 respectively, after the IRRC meets.
Commonwealth Court has a hearing April 7 on a legal challenge to block the Chapter 78 (conventional) regulations from being published as final filed by the PA Independent Petroleum Producers Association.
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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