Friday, February 25, 2011

DEP Rescinds, Announces Comment Periods On Several More Oil And Gas Policies

In the February 26 PA Bulletin, The Department of Environmental Protection published notice rescinding the Interim Guidance for Performing Single Stationary Source Determinations for the Oil and Gas Industries which was published by DEP at 40 Pa.B 7429 (December 25, 2010) and in a separate notice announced the intent to reopen the public comment period on the proposed Air Quality Permit Exemptions policy (DEP ID: 275-2101-003) published at 40 Pa.B. 2822 (May 29, 2010) and Proposed Revisions to the General Plan Approval and/or General Operating Permit for Nonroad Engines (BAQ-GPA/GP 11) published at 40 Pa.B. 6336 (October 30, 2010).
The Department said in the notice it thinks there are a number of potentially interrelated air quality topics regarding gas exploration and extraction activities within the Marcellus Shale which should be considered together, that is: (1) performing single stationary source determinations; (2) General Plan Approval and/or General Operating Permit BAQ-GPA/GP-11; and (3) the list of air quality plan approval and operating permit exemptions which were topics covered in the actions noted previously.
The Department believes that it is appropriate to seek a comprehensive public comment period on all three of these topics together to guide the Department on what, if any, guidance or action might be taken on any one or more of them.
In a separate but related action, the Department had proposed minor modifications to the General Plan Approval and/or General Operating Permit for Natural Gas, Coal Bed Methane, or Gob Gas Production or Recovery Facilities (BAQ-GPA/GP-5) published at 40 Pa.B. 5387 (September 18, 2010).
Among other things, the proposed modifications include the following: Condition No. 2 is proposed to be revised to limit a source's potential emissions; and Condition No. 4 is proposed to be revised to require compliance with the specifications in the Application for Authorization to Use GP-5.
These proposed revisions will offer greater flexibility to the regulated community. Public comment was received on the proposal and the Department is in the process of reviewing that input and finalizing these proposed changes which will be announced in a future Pennsylvania Bulletin notice.

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