New Marcellus Surface Regulations Coming for PA Drillers

In February 2012, Pennsylvania passed and Gov. Tom Corbett signed the Act 13 legislation into law–the first new legislation to address shale drilling in the state (see Gov. Corbett Signs New Marcellus Drilling Law). Among the provisions in the new law was an instruction (and permission) for the Environmental Quality Board (EQB), the rulemaking body of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, to craft new regulations for drilling. The EQB wasted no time in crafting new rules for the subsurface portion of drilling (see Rewrite of 1984 PA Oil and Gas Act Underway).

The second part of the EQB’s charge is now underway. Yesterday the EQB approved and released (for public comment) new regulations aimed at surface activities associated with natural gas drilling (a summary of the new rules is embedded below, along with the full text of the proposed regulations). This new round of regulations deals with protecting public resources like parks and forests, deals with orphaned and abandoned well identification, institutes new containment rules (for fresh water and wastewater), and firms up protection of water resources…

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