Tuesday, July 15, 2014

DEP: Fiscal Code Provision On Conventional Wells Delays Drilling Regs 2-3 Months

DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo told the DEP Citizens Advisory Council Tuesday, the provision in the Fiscal Code bill passed by the General Assembly as part of the budget requiring DEP to have separate environmental requirements for conventional oil and gas wells will delay finalizing the Act 13 Chapter 78 drilling regulations for several months.
“I don’t think there will be substantive changes in the regulations.  It’s a change in format,” said Secretary Abruzzo.  “I’m disappointed that it will delay the regulations.”
Hayley Book, DEP’s Director Policy, elaborated saying the existing Chapter 78 package will be split into two parts-- Chapter 78 will cover conventional wells and Chapter 78-A will cover unconventional (Marcellus Shale) wells.
Book said DEP has decided to release an Advanced Notice of Final Rulemaking in early 2015 to allow the public to comment on not only the reformatted conventional-unconventional well rules, but also the changes DEP made in response to the original public comment period on Chapter 78.
Burt Waite, the Council’s representative on DEP’s Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board, said the Board is expecting to get a copy of the revised Chapter 78 regulations to start its review before the end of 2014.  The next meeting of the Board is scheduled for September 25.
For more information, visit the DEP Oil and Gas Surface Regulations webpage.

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