Energy. Environment. Economy.


Department of Environmental Protection



Regulating natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation is one of many duties charged to the Department of Environmental Protection.

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.

Latest Posts

Jessup frustrated with DEP response to yellow smoke, health complaints at gas power plant

Pennsylvania environmental regulators are investigating health complaints after the Invenergy natural gas power plant in Jessup Pa. began spewing plumes of smoke this week. The company says the emissions are temporary and part of a planned commissioning process.

Residents of Jessup say they are not satisfied with the response from the state Department of Environmental Protection, after a new natural gas power plant spewed yellow-colored smoke and prompted health complaints earlier this month. The Invenergy plant being built in Lackawanna County started emitting noxious smoke on March 3. According to Jessup Borough Council President Jerry [...]

On pipeline route, some well owners OK with Sunoco’s water; others are wary

Bob Hoffman of Edgmont Township, Delaware County, says he's OK with a water 'buffalo' that Sunoco installed outside his home. It's to ensure a supply of clean water in case his private well is disrupted by drilling for the Mariner East pipelines.

A field outside Bob and Deborah Hoffman’s Delaware County home is filled with orange construction fencing, a 20-foot industrial curtain blocking their view of some surrounding houses, and hundreds of yards of steel pipeline waiting to be laid as part of the controversial Mariner East project. On the lawn about 50 yards from their front [...]

Yellow smoke, health complaints prompt state investigation at new gas power plant

Pennsylvania environmental regulators are investigating health complaints after the Invenergy natural gas power plant in Jessup Pa. began spewing plumes of smoke this week. The company says the emissions are temporary and part of a planned commissioning process.

Pennsylvania environmental regulators are looking into health complaints after residents say a natural gas power plant being built near Scranton started emitting noxious, greenish-yellow smoke over the weekend. “I live a half-mile from the plant. It was burning my nose, throat, sinuses and chest,” said Jessup resident Rella Scassellati. A state Department of Environmental Protection [...]

Sunoco: Mariner East 2, despite shutdown, expected in service by end of June

Sunoco said Thursday it aims to begin operating its Mariner East 2 pipeline across southern Pennsylvania by the end of the second quarter of this year, the same target it announced three months ago. The company resumed construction in February after Pennsylvania regulators shut it down for about a month because of repeated environmental violations.

What will Sunoco’s $12.6 million Mariner East 2 penalty be spent on?

The $12.6 million penalty being paid by Sunoco for multiple violations during construction of the Mariner East 2 pipelines will be used to improve water quality and the safety of dams across Pennsylvania, and will be in addition to the company’s work to correct environmental damage caused during the project, current and former state officials said. [...]

Mariner East 2 critics don’t trust DEP, Sunoco agreement to improve company’s record

Pennsylvania’s decision on Thursday to allow Sunoco to resume construction on the Mariner East 2 pipeline after a month-long shutdown failed to convince critics that the company will do so with any more respect for environmental regulations than they say it has had since starting the project a year ago. Despite the Department of Environmental [...]

Sunoco to resume work, pay $12.6 million for Mariner East 2 pipeline violations

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is issuing a $12.6 million civil penalty against Sunoco Pipeline, LLP  for permit violations related to the construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project. DEP suspended construction on the pipeline January 3 and directed the company to explain how it planned to prevent drilling mud spills – known as “inadvertent [...]

Audio: Governor Wolf wants faster permitting for oil and gas

Gov. Tom Wolf’s efforts to speed up the state’s environmental permitting process was among the main topics of discussion on the latest broadcast of The Confluence, a news program on Pittsburgh’s 90.5 FM WESA. StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Reid Frazier spoke about what impact Wolf’s efforts to hire 35 more Department of Environmental Protection inspectors, could have for the state’s [...]

Feds cite Sunoco for Mariner East 2 violation during construction in Ohio

A section of the controversial Mariner East 2 pipeline showed scrapes and a gouge in its coating during construction in Ohio last year, federal regulators said, in a recent statement that has fueled activists’ concern about the safety of the line. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a “Notice of Probable Violation” to [...]

Lawmakers question agencies’ use of special funds

As state lawmakers keep looking for ways to plug an estimated billion-dollar hole in Pennsylvania’s budget, they are scrutinizing state agencies’ use of special funds, which include money to promote environmental programs. At a House Appropriations Committee hearing Thursday, legislators quizzed Patrick McDonnell and Cindy Dunn, who lead the state Department of Environmental Protection and Department [...]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »