DEP: The Department That Regulates and Oversees Drilling
DEP is responsible for enforcing the state’s Oil and Gas Act, as well as state regulations on drinking water quality, air quality and the environmental health of rivers and streams.
DEP divides the state into six regions, and operates 19 district offices. It is currently headed by Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
Applications for certain things in environmental justice areas — like landfills or coal mines — are on a “trigger permit list” and get more scrutiny from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Sunoco spilled 25-30 gallons of drilling fluid into Raystown Lake in December, and divers are now assessing impacts to the lake bottom.
Mapping data and Sunoco’s statements point to a 12-inch pipeline that would allow the company to fulfill customers’ orders for natural gas liquids while construction of the long-delayed Mariner East 2 pipeline is being completed.
Many of the spills are small, but pipeline opponents say their frequency indicates Sunoco shouldn’t be drilling there. The Department of Environmental Protection ordered that a geologist take another look at the area.
Even though the oil and gas industry is exempt from obtaining the permits – unlike other kinds of industrial construction such as powerlines — that exemption disappears when a water violation occurs, argued Aaron Stemplewicz, senior attorney for DRN.
Pennsylvania moved to regulate the greenhouse gas as the Trump administration tries to roll back federal methane rules. The state permits apply to new and modified wells and related compressor stations, but not to the state’s 11,000 existing Marcellus shale gas wells.
Pennsylvania has ended what had become common practice for municipalities that wanted to suppress dust on unpaved roads. A study found that some chemicals wash away during rain — and that when the road dries, contaminants can get into the air.