Thursday, April 21, 2016

Environmental Defense Fund: New Drilling Regs Will Safeguard PA Communities

A package of rules aimed at preventing groundwater contamination and other health and environmental risks associated with oil and gas activity cleared an important hurdle Thursday as the Independent Regulatory Review Commission voted to approve the regulatory package known as Chapter 78 and 78a.
The Environmental Defense Fund praised the IRRC.
“Requiring Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry to meet higher standards is a no brainer,” said Andrew Williams, Senior State Regulatory and Legislative Affairs Manager. “Every day, community impacts are an inherent risk associated with the intensity of this industrial activity. Proper safeguards that protect the people and the places near this development from potential air and water pollution are vital.”
The Chapter 78 regulatory package is a key element of Act 13, the state’s oil and gas law which went into effect in 2012 but had none of these important protections included:
-- Improved water supply restoration standards;
-- Public resource protections;
-- More oversight of waste management at well sites; and
-- Stronger environmental assessments for hydraulically fractured well sites.
Failure to approve Chapter 78 would have further delayed the almost four-year time period since Pennsylvania legislators voted Act 13 into law.
“We commend the Commission for taking this important step,” Williams said. “We look forward to working with the Wolf administration to put other important controls in place to protect the health and wellbeing of Keystone residents and the environment from the impacts of oil and gas development.”
Related Stories:
4 Environmental Groups Urge IRRC To Approve DEP Drilling Regs Thursday

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