Thursday, February 8, 2024

Environmental Hearing Board Narrows, But Allows Protect PT Appeal Of Shale Gas Well Permit Renewals In Westmoreland County To Move Forward

On February 7, the
Environmental Hearing Board issued an opinion and order granting part of an Apex Energy (PA) LLC motion to dismiss parts of a Protect PT appeal of the renewal of shale gas well permits at the Drakulic well pad in Penn Township, Westmoreland County.

The Board ruled that all or parts of 15 of the 107 paragraphs outlining the grounds listed by Protect PT in the appeal challenge the initial permits issued by DEP and were dismissed.   EHB Docket 2023074.

The opinion says, “It is well-established that an appellant may not use an appeal of a permit renewal to challenge the issuance of the permit in the first place.”

Apex Energy (PA) LLC, with DEP supporting, sought a broader dismissal of the appeal.

Among the general grounds for appeal that remain are--

-- DEP failed to carry out its obligation as a trustee for the environment and the Environmental Rights Amendment;

-- The permits authorize the use, generation, storage and transportation of hazardous waste;

-- The permits authorize the generation, storage and transportation of radioactive waste;

-- The renewal of the permits destabilize Pennsylvania’s climate in violation of the Environmental Rights Amendment;

-- The location and operation of the Drakulic shale gas well pad will impact public resources and endanger human health;

-- DEP disregarded facts and public input that should have resulted in the denial of the renewal applications;

-- DEP should have required Preparedness, Prevention and Contingency Plans as part of applications for renewal; and

-- DEP disregarded the compliance history of the permittee.

Click Here for a copy of the appeal.

Click Here for a copy of the Environmental Hearing Board’s decision.

For documents related to this case, visit EHB Docket 2023074.

Visit the Protect PT website for more information on their initiatives, programs, upcoming events and how you can get involved.

Related Article - Protect PT:

-- Protect PT: Commonwealth Court Vacates Penneco Oil & Gas Wastewater Injection Well Permit, Remanding It To Plum Boro For Additional Fact Finding In Allegheny County  [PaEN]

PA Oil & Gas Industry Public Notice Dashboards:

-- Just 14 Days: PA Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - Jan. 27 to Feb. 9 - More Abandoned Conventional, Shale Gas Wells; Spills, Venting Gas, Contaminated Water Supplies  [PaEN] 

-- PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices, Opportunities To Comment - February 10 [PaEN]

-- DEP Posted 74 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In February 10 PA Bulletin  [PaEN]

Related Articles This Week:

-- DEP Begins Emergency Project To Plug Abandoned Conventional Gas Wells In Scott Twp., Allegheny County; DEP Tried To Get Well Operators To Stop The Leaks For Nearly 9 Years  [PaEN] 

-- Guest Essay: DEP Ignored Abandoned Wells During Oil & Gas Wastewater Injection Well Permitting Process - By Laurie Barr, Save Our Streams PA  [PaEN]  

-- DEP OKs Cameron Energy Applications For Plugging 3 Orphan Conventional Wells Under Blanket Bond Increase Waiver Program; Denied 1 Plugged Well Leaking Crude Oil  [PaEN]

-- PA Utility Law Project, Public Citizen Host Feb. 16 Webinar Exploring The Impact Of LNG Natural Gas Exports On Pennsylvania Families  [PaEN]

-- Environmental Hearing Board Narrows, But Allows Protect PT Appeal Of Shale Gas Well Permit Renewals In Westmoreland County To Move Forward   [PaEN] 

-- Liberty Twp., Citizens Group Appeal EHB Decision On Permit For Tri-County Landfill In Mercer County Over Threats Posed By Birds, Radioactive Oil & Gas Waste  [PaEN] 

-- PJM Reports Natural Gas Power Plants Were Over Half The Forced Outages During Winter Storm Gerri In January; Special Procedures Used For Gas Generators Raised Questions About Market Impacts  [PaEN]


-- Philadelphia Medicine Magazine: Pitt Drops A Bombshell - The PA Health And Environment Studies On Fracking - By Dr. Ned Ketyer, Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania

-- Physicians For Social Responsibility Pennsylvania: Fact Sheet On Deal Between Gov. Shapiro, CNX Natural Gas Driller Allows Voluntary Self-Regulation Of A Fracking Company

-- Inside Climate News: In His First Year As Governor, Josh Shapiro Forged Alliances With The Natural Gas Industry, Angering Environmentalists Who Support Him 

-- Inside Climate News: Q&A: New Rules In PA Require Drillers To Disclose Toxic Chemicals Used In Fracking 

-- TribLive: Environmentalists, Natural Gas Drillers’ Group Divided On Transparency On Fracking Fluid Disclosures 

-- The Energy Age Blog: PA DEP Begins Emergency Project To Plug Abandoned Conventional Gas Wells [Video From Plugging Site] 

-- TribLive: Penn Township Board Will Visit Proposed Hyperion [Olympus Energy] Natural Gas Compressor Site 

-- Inquirer - Will Bunch: Democracy Dies When PA Pols Tell Their Own Voters To Drop Dead On Fracking  [Proposed LNG Plant In Chester, Delaware County] 

-- Markets Insider: New Study Questions LNG Natural Gas As A ‘Bridge Fuel’ In Decarbonization

-- Forbes Guest Essay: US Natural Gas Prices Could Spike 14% Without Biden’s Pause On New LNG Export Terminal Permits Costing Consumers $18 Billion

-- Environmental Integrity Project: Biden’s Pause In New Permits For LNG Natural Gas Facilities Won’t Slow The Flow Of US Natural Gas Abroad 

--  Daily Herald - Salena Zito:  Democrats Say Biden’s Pause On New LNG Natural Gas Export Facilities Is Like ‘Throwing A Match In A Bale Of Hay’ [PA included]

-- Bradford Era: Feb. 10 Town Hall In Cyclone, McKean County To Discuss Appeal Of Catalyst Energy, Inc. Oil & Gas Wastewater Injection Well Permit 

[Posted: February 8, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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