Sunday, February 13, 2022

Scott Perry No Longer DEP Deputy For Oil & Gas Management

The Department of Environmental Protection confirmed as of February 11, Scott Perry, Deputy Secretary for Oil and Gas Management, is no longer an employee of the agency.  
No other comments on personnel actions were made. No replacement has yet been named.

Perry was named Deputy for Oil and Gas Management in September 2011 by Gov. Corbett when that Deputate was formed to focus more attention on regulating unconventional (shale) gas drilling in Pennsylvania.  [Read more here.]

As Deputy, Perry directed the Bureaus of Oil and Gas Planning and Program Management and District Oil and Gas Operations, and he oversaw the development of departmental policy as well as regulatory and technical guidance for conventional and unconventional oil and gas activities in Pennsylvania.

Perry and his team helped develop the first comprehensive state law-- Act 13 of 2012-- to regulate unconventional gas drilling and the first comprehensive regulations setting environmental protection standards for both conventional and unconventional drilling, although the conventional regulations were killed by the General Assembly.  Read more here.

He promoted policies like recycling hydrofracking water that reduced the need for fresh water in drilling by hundreds of millions of gallons.

Along with other states, he helped build a regulatory program covering unconventional drilling, while the industry was booming in Pennsylvania-- something like rebuilding a jet engine while the plane is flying.

He oversaw initiatives to move much of the program’s work online including permitting, inspection reports and many other database initiatives.

Recently, he was spearheading the development of a new set of environmental standards covering conventional drilling and commissioned scientific studies from Penn State on the environmental impacts of the road spreading disposal of wastewater from conventional drilling.

Another study in a series on road spreading by Dr. William Burgos and others at Penn State done at the request of DEP was due to be released at any time.

He made a point of saying the science will guide DEP’s decisions on how to deal with the disposal of conventional drilling wastewater.  

[So far, the science is saying it presents a public health and environmental threat.  Read more here.  Read more here.]

Perry was also evaluating a petition the Environmental Quality Board accepted in November to increase the bonding amounts for both conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells to the cost taxpayers would have to pay to plug them if abandoned by drilling companies.  Read more here.

On February 7, Perry testified before the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on DEP’s plans for investing the $395 million in funding for plugging conventional oil and gas wells the state will receive over the next 15 years through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  Read more here.

 During that meeting he and his staff made the point that no company would receive contracts for plugging funds with outstanding environmental violations that have not been resolved to the agency’s satisfaction.  Read more here.

Perry was also scheduled to present the Oil and Gas Program fee report to the Environmental Quality Board on February 15 showing a deficit in funding for the program.  Read more here.

Prior to his appointment as Deputy, he served as Assistant Counsel across a wide range of bureaus and offices within DEP, including the bureaus of Oil and Gas, Laboratories, Water Standards and Facility Regulations, Watershed Management, Waste Management and Radiation Protection, along with the Office of Energy and Technology Deployment and the Right-to-Know Office.

Perry holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in General Arts and Sciences - Economic and Environmental Policy from Penn State University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree and a certificate in Dispute Resolution from Willamette University College of Law. 

He was admitted before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Federal District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit as an Attorney and Counselor of Law.

(Photo: StateImpactPA.)

Related Articles: 

-- DEP To Report $4.7 Million, 17.6% Deficit, In Funding Oil & Gas Regulatory Program To EQB Feb. 15; Conventional Drillers Only Pay 0.4% Of Their Regulatory Costs 

-- DEP To Prohibit Conventional Oil & Gas Drillers With Unresolved Environmental Violations From Getting Conventional Well Plugging Contracts; 133 Companies Interested In Doing Well Plugging Work 

-- Conventional Oil & Gas Well Drillers Press DEP To Reduce Environmental Safeguards For Drilling And Treat Them The Same As Wind, Solar Energy Facilities 

-- Preliminary Results From New Penn State Study Find Increased Cancer, Health Risks From Road Dumping Conventional Drilling Wastewater, Especially For Children 

-- The Science Says: Spreading Conventional Drilling Wastewater On Dirt & Gravel Roads Can Harm Aquatic Life, Poses Health Risks To Humans - And It Damages The Roads
[Posted: February 13, 2022] 
PA Environment Digest

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