Krancer: DRBC Rules "Duplicative and Unnecessary"
The Delaware River Basin Commission was inundated with comments, after it released draft regulations in December for natural gas drilling within its four-state jurisdiction.
The Scranton Times-Tribune’s Laura Legere sifted through some of the more than 44,000 letters sent to the DRBC, and put together a solid report on the recommendations suggested by various state and federal agencies. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer called the rules “duplicative and unnecessary,” while other Pennsylvania agencies were far more supportive.
In his written comments, Pennsylvania DEP Secretary Michael Krancer suggested that the DRBC regulations be “scaled back” to address only water withdrawals, wastewater discharges and in-stream monitoring as it relates to gas development. Otherwise, “oversight by the DRBC is duplicative and unnecessary” where member states have their own oil and gas regulatory programs, he said.
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission was far more supportive of the draft rules, calling the DRBC’s proposed 500-foot well pad setbacks from water bodies, wetlands and reservoirs “important and protective” especially since Pennsylvania’s natural gas law “is less restrictive” in its setbacks.
The Fish & Boat Commission also recommended in the “strongest possible terms” that gas companies be required to do site surveys for water bodies and wetlands because the standard map review called for under Pennsylvania law “has proven, in our experience, inadequate to protect water bodies,” it said.
Meantime, New York, New Jersey and federal officials said the DRBC’s regulations didn’t go far enough.