PA Judge Temporarily Blocks Some DEP Chapter 78a Drilling Regs

blockedOn Oct. 8, after five years in the making, Pennsylvania adopted new shale drilling regulations (see PA’s New Chapter 78a Drilling Regs Go into Effect Oct 8). Although the regs were ready at the end of the Gov. Tom Corbett Administration, Corbett fumbled the ball and the regs didn’t get adopted, which left them vulnerable to the incoming left-leaning Tom Wolf. Wolf’s people mangled the regulations under the Dept. of Environmental Protection Dictator/Secretary John Quigley, who got fired over unethical collusion with Big Green groups. Some of the good stuff remained, but onerous new elements were introduced. The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), which represents PA’s biggest shale drillers, filed an appeal in Commonwealth Court to block the most onerous aspects of the new regulations (see Marc. Shale Coalition Files Lawsuit to Block PA Chapter 78a Regs). When the court judge held a hearing on the matter, he was shocked the MSC didn’t call any witnesses (i.e. shale companies) adversely affected by the new regs (see Judge “Shocked” MSC Didn’t Present Witnesses @ Chapter 78a Hearing). However, that same judge yesterday decided the MSC has a case, at least with some of the new rules. So he has temporarily blocked some of the items the MSC objected to in its lawsuit, including rules governing freshwater impoundments…

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