PA DEP Secretary Hanger Summons Marcellus Shale Drillers to Meeting, Asks Them to Comply with Unratified New Drilling Rules

After the PA Secretary for the Department of Environmental Protection, John Hanger, summoned Marcellus Shale drilling companies to a meeting, he proceeded to “challenge” them to comply with new drilling rules that likely won’t be adopted until this fall. Talk about arrogant.

“I urged the industry to implement the stronger standards immediately and not wait for the rule to be finalized,” Mr. Hanger said. “I challenged the industry to set a world-class example.”

The summit came ahead of action by the state Environmental Quality Board on Monday on several proposed regulations to require that oil field-grade cement be used in Marcellus Shale wells, to delineate responsibility and notification procedures for gas migration problems and to strengthen requirements for treating drilling wastewater and limiting sediment erosion from wells. Mr. Hanger expects the rules to be adopted by fall.*

Certainly nothing wrong with new rules to help prevent a repeat of the situation in Dimock, PA from recurring, which supposedly the new rules will help guard against. However, MDN continues to notice that Hanger’s tone is increasingly confrontational rather than collaborative.

*Scranton Times Tribune (May 14) – DEP head asks gas drillers to comply with new rules