The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and their Office of Oil and Gas Management released a new website two weeks ago that makes it easier for the public to to access Marcellus Shale drilling permit records, drilling dates, inspections and enforcement information.
At the heart of the new site are several data tools that will be updated automatically and nearly immediately rather than manually by a DEP staff member every month or so. For the first time, visitors to the new compliance database will find details for every inspection, not just those that uncover a violation at a well site.
The compliance database, which takes the place of what DEP spokesman Kevin Sunday called a "cumbersome" but "workable Marcellus Shale Excel spreadsheet," also presents years of enforcement information in one place.
"You can check out an operator and get a look at how they’ve performed over the last few years, how much they’ve paid in penalties, what the violations were," he said. "This is one standard format that definitely improves our transparency and our communication."
To view and use the new site, go to: //goo.gl/A9f8C
*The Scranton Times Tribune (Jan 28, 2012) – New databases improve access to state gas drilling records