PA Lawmakers Push Back Against DEP’s Draft Methane Regs

In December the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) unveiled new regulations to clamp down on methane emissions and other other air pollution that allegedly comes from shale drilling sites (see PA DEP Releases New Regs re Methane & Air Pollution at Drill Sites). The onerous new regulations, not in effect yet, were originally prompted by bullying from the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Even though EPA pressure is likely to disappear under President Trump, PA Gov. Wolf still intends to push forward with these regulations. After some final tweaks, the DEP released draft versions of the new permits (i.e. regulations) last week, opening them up for public comment over the next 45 days. However, chairman of the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, sent a letter to the DEP (full copy below) to let the DEP know they have overstepped their bounds in issuing the draft permits. Metcalfe accuses the DEP of “lack of transparency, accountability and judicious use of regulatory authority.” In other words, cease and desist. Another PA legislator, Sen. Guy Reschenthaler, introduced a bill in January that would prohibit PA from adopting regulations that are stricter than federal standards. It seems the DEP has a fight on its hands–from the PA legislature…

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