DEP to hold public hearings on new drilling regulations

  • Marie Cusick

The state Department of Environmental Protection has scheduled three hearings for the public to weigh in on proposed changes to regulations for the oil and gas industry.

Since 2011, the DEP has been revising its Chapter 78 regulations, which govern drilling. The draft rules have gone through a number of changes. Most recently, after Governor Wolf took office, the department proposed more changes relating to waste management, noise, and stream setbacks.

The DEP says it’s seeking public input on those new proposals— not the entire package of regulations.

All of the hearings will be from 6-9pm. Here are the dates and locations:

  • April 29 – Washington and Jefferson College, Rossin Campus Center – Allen Ballroom,60 S. Lincoln St., Washington, PA 15301
  • April 30 – Warren County Courthouse, 204 4th Ave., Warren, PA 16365
  • May 4 – Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Klump Academic Center, 1 College Ave., Williamsport, PA 17701

Each speaker will have five minutes to present testimony, and the department is encouraging people to register in advance by calling its Policy Office: 717-783-8727. The DEP is also accepting online comments here. The comment period closes on May 19th.

The gas industry has sharply criticized the DEP for the recent changes to the regulations– arguing the Wolf administration has not been transparent. One industry trade group says it is considering legal action.

DEP responded to the criticism by lengthening the comment period from 30 to 45 days, and scheduling the three public hearings.

Up Next

In New Jersey, open space sacrificed for cheaper natural gas