DEP GP-5 & 5A Regs – Imminent Threat to PA Marcellus Drilling

In December 2016, 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 has disappeared under President Trump, PA Gov. Wolf still intends to push forward with these onerous (frankly, disastrous) regulations. According to the DEP, the proposed General Permit 5A (GP-5A) and the revised General Permit 5 (GP-5), “establish updated Best Available Technology (BAT) requirements for the industry regarding air emission limits, source testing, leak detection and repair, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for the applicable air pollution sources.” After some final tweaks, the DEP released draft versions of the new permits (i.e. regulations) in February (see PA DEP Seeks Public Comment on Regs for Methane, Compressor Stns). The original public comment period was slated to last 45 days, ending in March. For no stated reason, the DEP extended the comment period until June 5th (see PA DEP Extends Public Comment Period for Methane Regs). In March, MDN editor Jim Willis heard former DEP Secretary Mike Krancer say if GP-5A is enacted as written, it will result in a 12-18 month moratorium on new production in Pennsylvania (see Big News from the O&G Awards Northeast Industry Summit). The shale industry is taking the changes very seriously and has initiated a full court press to oppose the new regulations as written…

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