MSC Tells PA DEP What it Thinks of Onerous New Methane Regs

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 shale industry is calling this a potential 5-alarm fire–a direct threat to Marcellus drilling (see Unmasking PA DEP’s War on Shale via Methane Regulations). The Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) has raised awareness of this issue from the beginning, and attempted to work with the DEP to modify the rules. To no avail. The DEP presses forward. So the MSC filed their own official, specific objections to both GP-5 and GP-5A with the DEP last week. We scored a copy of those comments and have them below…

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