Tough New Air Standards for PA Marcellus Drillers Start Next Week

door a or door bStarting next week, Marcellus Shale drillers in PA will face strict new rules on air emissions at drill sites. The new rules (i.e. “technical guidance”) won’t officially be released until Saturday, August 10 when published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The rules will limit noxious emissions, including nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants. The rules also include an almost-total ban on flaring of wells–only short-term or emergency flaring allowed.

Drillers will be given one of two choices for compliance under the new rules: either get an air quality plan pre-approved by the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) for each well drilled–adding a lot of time to the drilling process, or comply with new DEP standards that are even more strict than federal standards issued in April 2012–in essence have your drilling operation certified as complying with super-strict DEP standards. Which option will drillers chose? The Marcellus Shale Coalition says drillers are mulling it over now…

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