Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Senate Environmental Chairs To Offer Drilling Reg Amendments Feb. 3

The Republican and Democratic Chairs of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee said they will be offering amendments to DEP’s Chapter 78 (conventional) and 78A (unconventional) drilling regulations at the Environmental Quality Board meeting February 3.
Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) said he would be offering 3 amendments--
-- Amendment #1: Clarifies a well operator is only responsible for restoring drinking water supplies to the same quality before drilling;
-- Amendment #2: Provides well drillers flexibility in notifying DEP of well site processing operations; and
-- Amendment #3: Would eliminate the separate permit requirement for freshwater impoundments.
Click Here for a copy of the amendments.
Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) will be offering 5 amendments--
-- Amendment #1: Protection of water supplies; the amendment reconciles language in the regulation with the language in the statute restoring the rebuttable presumption liability for water supply contamination during well site construction;
-- Amendment #2: technical change in the predrilling or prealteration survey and the second change removes a qualifier on the rebuttable presumption that would restore the rebuttable presumption for liability for water supply contamination for well operators in certain circumstances;
-- Amendment #3: Area of review; removes the requirement for landowner questionnaire on orphaned or abandoned wells;
-- Amendment #4: Production reporting; changes the reporting requirement for waste material from monthly to every 6 months; and
-- Amendment #5: Changes the effective date of the regulation from immediately upon publication in the PA Bulletin to 180 days after publication.
Click Here for a copy of the amendments.
The meeting will be held on February 3 in Room 105 of the Rachel Carson Building in Harrisburg starting at 9:00 a.m.  Click Here to watch the meeting online.
Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, is also considering amendments.
Copies of the regulation changes and other related documents are available at the Environmental Quality Board meeting webpage.

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