Energy. Environment. Economy.



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 Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell.


Latest Posts

Pa. Senate environmental panel chair bemoans ‘lack of leadership’ on Marcellus

Marie Cusick/ StateImpact Pennsylvania State Sen. Gene Yaw (R- Bradford) speaking at the Midstream PA conference in State College. State Senator Gene Yaw (R- Bradford) is sharply criticizing his fellow Pennsylvania public officials, for what he calls a lack of leadership on Marcellus Shale natural gas issues. He has an influential position in Harrisburg as [...]

Advocates urge last-minute vote to save PA pipeline safety law

An effort to preserve and expand a Pennsylvania law designed to protect underground pipes and cables from accidental damage by construction work has almost run out of time in Harrisburg. A state bill to amend the Underground Utility Line Protection Act was on Wednesday, still due for consideration by a Pennsylvania House committee, this just [...]

After bitter fight, new Marcellus Shale regulations set to take effect

After wending their way through a convoluted, controversial five-year process, new regulations for Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale drillers are set to take effect Saturday. The intense political battle has been unlike anything Kurt Klapkowski has seen in his nearly 23-year career at the state Department of Environmental Protection. Over the years there have been efforts to slow down [...]

Trade group seeks to block new drilling rules

An oil and gas trade group is seeking to block new Marcellus Shale drilling regulations scheduled to take effect later this week. The rules have been in development since 2011 and have been the subject of significant controversy. The Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA) objects to regulatory language giving the state Department of Environmental [...]

Court gives legislature 6 months to fix gas law

Pennsylvania’s highest court struck down industry-friendly portions of the state’s 2012 oil and gas law Wednesday, giving a win to municipalities and environmental groups that challenged it. But one section dealing with how the public should be alerted when a spill happens remains in limbo. The law, known as Act 13, required state environmental regulators [...]

‘Erin Brockovich chemical’ found in PA water systems, study says

More than 160 public water systems in Pennsylvania contained the carcinogenic chemical chromium 6 during recent tests at levels that were above a health limit recommended by scientists in California, according to a new analysis of data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The study from the Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy nonprofit, [...]

DEP gives Sunoco long to-do list on Mariner East 2 pipeline plan

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has rejected Sunoco Logistics current proposal to protect waterways and wetlands at risk of damage by construction of the company’s Mariner East 2 pipeline. Sunoco recently submitted what DEP refers to as “technically complete” permit applications necessary for moving forward with the pipeline project. DEP’s critiques of the permit applications [...]

Gas drillers lose case over well permit requirements

A Pennsylvania appeals court has ruled that the Department of Environmental Protection has the authority to consider the impact of gas drilling wells on public and natural resources including, but not limited to, public drinking water supplies, parks, forests, game lands, habitats of rare and endangered species, historic and archeological sites, scenic rivers, and historic [...]

Wolf still searching for new environmental chief

More than three months have passed since the controversial resignation of Pennsylvania’s environmental secretary, John Quigley, and Governor Tom Wolf is still looking for a permanent replacement. The law requires the governor to nominate someone to fill the vacancy within 90 days. In order to comply, the administration submitted a placeholder name, Thomas Yablonski Jr., [...]

Public weighs in on controversial gas liquids pipeline

State environmental regulators held another public hearing Tuesday night to get public feedback on the proposed Mariner 2 natural gas liquids pipeline that would span 17 counties and cross 350 miles of southern Pennsylvania. About 110 people turned out to the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. A conference room was filled with representatives from labor unions, [...]

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