Did US Army Corps of Engineers Just Make it Harder for O&G in PA?

what just happenedIt appears to us that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has just made it harder for drillers and pipeline companies operating in Pennsylvania to do their job–although we’re not 100% sure. Last week the USACE issued a public notice about revisions to the Pennsylvania State Programmatic General Permit – 4 (PASPGP-4). According to the legal beagles at Babst Calland, “PASPGP-4 authorizes the discharge of dredged or fill materials and the placement of temporary or permanent structures that result in impacts to one acre or less of waters of the United States, including jurisdictional wetlands.” The USACE has added more threatened and endangered species, as listed on the Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI), to the PASPGP-4, meaning there’s more bats and bugs and other critters drillers and pipeliners must avoid when moving earth and cutting down trees. At least that’s what we think is happening. The USACE says it’s “streamlining” the review process. Looks to us like what they’re doing is adding more hoops the oil and gas industry must jump through…

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