PA DEP Hosting Webinars on Act 13 Zoning Law

Want to know more about the recently passed Act 13 law in Pennsylvania? That’s the new law essentially removing the right of local municipalities to regulate or otherwise ban drilling within their borders. Some townships are up in arms and threatening a lawsuit. The state Department of Environmental Protection wants to educate local officials and the public and is conducting four one-hour webinars to do it.

From the DEP press release:

The Department of Environmental Protection will host online information sessions on implementing Act 13, which Governor Tom Corbett signed into law in February to further protect the environment and place more stringent regulations on the natural gas drilling industry.

“Act 13 reaffirms our strong commitment to safe, responsible, environmentally sensitive and transparent natural gas development here in Pennsylvania,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said. “Our intent with these sessions is to explain the law and answer whatever questions people may have.”

Act 13’s environmental provisions for unconventional gas operations, which take effect April 16, include increased setbacks from buildings and waterways; limited development in floodplains; and increased time and distance provisions in which gas drillers are presumed liable for water contamination until evidence proves otherwise, among other things.

Operators must also register their hydraulic fracturing fluid ingredients with, a website created by the Ground Water Protection Council and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission to make such information accessible to the public.

DEP will offer four one-hour sessions, starting with a general overview of Act 13 on March 27; details on permitting and notifications on April 3; information about environmental protection and enhancement on April 10; and a session on inspections and enforcement on April 17.

The sessions, which will begin at 1 p.m., will be presented live through Cisco WebEx software. There is a maximum of 500 attendees to each session due to technological limitations. DEP will post recordings of the presentations on its website.

For more information and to register for the sessions, visit and click the “Act 13” button on the homepage.*

*PA Department of Environmental Protection (Mar 20, 2012) – DEP to Host Online Sessions on New Marcellus Shale Law