PA DEP Makes Another Run at Onerous New GP-5 & 5A Methane Regs

In December 2016, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP) unveiled new regulations to clamp down on methane emissions and other other air pollution that allegedly comes from shale drilling sites (see PA DEP Releases New Regs re Methane & Air Pollution at Drill Sites). The onerous new regulations, not in effect yet, were originally prompted by bullying from the Obama Environmental Protection Agency. Even though EPA pressure has disappeared under President Trump, PA Gov. Wolf still intends to push forward with these onerous (frankly, disastrous) regulations. According to the DEP, the proposed General Permit 5A (GP-5A) and the revised General Permit 5 (GP-5), will “establish updated Best Available Technology (BAT) requirements for the industry regarding air emission limits, source testing, leak detection and repair, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements for the applicable air pollution sources.” After some final tweaks, the DEP released draft versions of the new permits (i.e. regulations) in February (see PA DEP Seeks Public Comment on Regs for Methane, Compressor Stns). The Marcellus Shale Coalition, among others, strongly pushed back on these unnecessary and costly regulations (see MSC Tells PA DEP What it Thinks of Onerous New Methane Regs). Following the pushback, there was a lull in activity. The lull is now over. Out of the blue, the DEP announced it would conduct a webinar tomorrow, Thursday. The announcement (below) indicates the DEP will provide “details of the updated GP-5 and new GP-5A general permits.” Is this yet another set of revisions to try and make these onerous regs more palatable? Or just an elaborate snow job to resell the same old onerous regs they already tried to foist on the industry?…

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