EXPLAINER | DEP: The Department That Regulates and Oversees Drilling
581 stories

DEP: The Department That Regulates and Oversees Drilling

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 stories


Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of Mariner East 2 pipeline builder, Sunoco, works at Snitz Creek in West Cornwall Township, Lebanon County after a drilling mud spill during the summer.

Mariner East 2: Sunoco’s incidents, fines and shutdowns fuel residents’ safety concerns

As part of the “Mariner East 2: At what risk?” series, StateImpact Pennsylvania reports how pipeline opponents say Sunoco’s construction makes them worried about the volatile liquids flowing through the line. The data can be useful, but there may be more to the story, two experts said.

By Jon Hurdle

The Horsham Air Guard Station in Bucks County, Pa. where the use of PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam has been linked with contamination of local water supplies.

Wolf sets up government panel to study PFAS chemicals

Contamination has been found at sites including Montgomery, Bucks and Franklin counties. Pennsylvania doesn’t have health limits on the chemicals, and a Wolf administration spokesman said the governor wants the state to establish such limits.

By Jon Hurdle

The contaminated Bishop Tube former industrial site in Malvern, Pa. Environmentalists say DEP has neglected the cleanup over many years.

Court rejects developer’s effort to block protest against town homes plan

Delaware Riverkeeper Network says suit tried to silence its right to free speech
By Jon Hurdle

After a warning from the EPA, Pennsylvania is moving to hire more staff to enforce Safe Drinking Water Act standards.

After EPA warning, Pa. hikes fees on water systems to hire more inspectors

In late 2016, the EPA told Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection that its water program was so under-staffed and under-funded, it was failing to enforce federal standards.

By Marie Cusick

Crews work to stabilize sinkholes in a West Whiteland Township neighborhood on March 3. The sinkholes appeared  near a construction site for the Mariner East 2 pipeline.
Updated: August 17, 2018 | 8:02 am

DEP approves ME2 modifications in West Whiteland, but PUC green light still needed

If approved by the PUC, the permit modifications would end a construction hiatus in the township ordered first by a PUC administrative judge and then partially upheld by the full PUC in June.

By Jon Hurdle

An abandoned well from the early 1900's spews oil into the Tamarack Swamp.

FILE PHOTO: Cheswick Generating Station in Springdale, Pa.

With policy change, nearly a third of Pennsylvanians live in ‘environmental justice’ areas

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. 

By Marie Cusick

In the distance, construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline at Raystown Lake Recreation Area in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.

Mariner East 2 pipeline spill prompting underwater inspection, ‘no wake zone’ at Raystown Lake

Sunoco spilled 25-30 gallons of drilling fluid into Raystown Lake in December, and divers are now assessing impacts to the lake bottom.

By Marie Cusick

An environmental cleanup crew works to remove fuel from a spill in Darby Creek in Tinicum Township, Pennsylvania, near the Philadelphia International Airport. Sunoco plans to use this same line to ship natural gas liquids until construction along the Mariner East 2 is completed.

Sunoco’s stand-in ME2 line leaked gasoline at Darby Creek, pipeline map indicates

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.

By Jon Hurdle

A Mariner East 2 construction site in rural Pennsylvania. The Public Utility Commission lifted a ban  on construction of a valve, removing one obstacle to completion of the troubled project.

At Lebanon County’s Snitz Creek, another Mariner East drilling spill and another DEP violation

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.

By Jon Hurdle
LOAD MORE