New Drilling Rules Take Effect in PA, Despite Objections from Industry

objectionMDN previously reported that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) planned to publish the final regulations in the Oct. 8 Pennsylvania Bulletin (see PA’s New Article 78a Drilling Regs Go into Effect Oct 8). The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA) previously sued asking the Commonwealth Court to block the new regulations based on the legal fact that key parts of Act 13, which Chapter 78a is based on, have been “enjoined” that prevent certain Chapter 78a provisions from being adopted in their current form. Essentially PIOGA (a) warned PA agencies they should not publish the new regulations, which prevents the regs from going into effect, until the invalid provisions are removed, and (b) further sued to keep the regulations stopped (see PIOGA Makes Legal Play to Stop Chapter 78a Regs from Taking Effect). PIOGA’s play to block the new regs didn’t work–at least not yet. On Friday the DEP moved forward with publishing the new rules. The new rules are in effect NOW, as of Saturday. However, yet another round of public comment will be accepted on the now-in-place rules, with a deadline of Dec. 7…

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