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DEP: The Department That Regulates and Oversees Drilling

Background

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

DEP eyes new land for abandoned mine cleanup

Environmental officials in Pennsylvania have long focused on cleaning up the most hazardous old mines, but they plan to start addressing other abandoned mining sites that pose fewer public health dangers. Patrick McDonnell, secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection, announced Tuesday that his agency is developing a program aimed at converting these spaces [...]

Cabot Oil and Gas to pay $99,000 for air quality violations in Susquehanna County

Cabot Oil and Gas Corp. will pay $99,000 as part of an agreement with the state environmental protection department, which found air quality violations at natural gas well sites in Susquehanna County. The DEP also said that for 20 wells, Cabot didn’t submit reports that are used to figure out whether the wells would be [...]

Sunoco proposes construction change for Mariner East 2, but meets fresh resistance

Sunoco’s plan to change the construction of its Mariner East 2 pipeline in Chester County’s West Whiteland Township is stirring opposition from residents and local lawmakers only five months after a botched drilling operation there spilled fluid, punctured an aquifer and turned drinking water cloudy in some private wells. The company wants to abandon its [...]

After recent Mariner East 2 spills, DEP mulls ‘additional enforcement’

Pennsylvania’s environmental regulators are considering tougher restrictions on Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline project after a continuing series of drilling fluid spills and violations of environmental laws. A spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection said the massive cross-state project has been far more of an enforcement challenge than officials expected because of multiple drilling [...]

DEP accused of neglecting cleanup of contaminated Chesco site

Delaware Riverkeeper Network stepped up its campaign to clean the highly contaminated Bishop Tube industrial site at Malvern in Chester County when it accused Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection of neglecting the problem over decades. The environmental group filed a complaint with Commonwealth Court on Wednesday asking the court to require DEP to bring the [...]

Mariner East 2 pipeline completion delayed again

Sunoco Pipeline’s parent company, Energy Transfer Partners, said Wednesday that its Mariner East 2 pipeline will be put into service in the second quarter of 2018, some 18 months later than originally planned, because of delays caused by Pennsylvania regulators. Chief Financial Officer Tom Long said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call that the project [...]

Plaintiffs ask judge to revoke ‘illegal’ Mariner East 2 permits

Three environmental groups urged a judge to revoke some environmental permits for the Mariner East 2 pipeline without holding a trial, saying there are ‘undisputed’ facts showing that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection broke the law in issuing the permits. Clean Air Council, Delaware Riverkeeper Network and the Mountain Watershed Association filed a motion [...]

Future in Limbo for Coal Ash Site

A Greene County coal ash landfill won’t be receiving any more coal waste until December, at the earliest. Environmental groups hope the landfill may have seen its last shipment of the waste. As part of a settlement reached between FirstEnergy and two environmental groups in September, the company will be making repairs to its coal [...]

Water problems persist along Mariner East pipeline route despite court intervention

Water impacts continue at numerous Pennsylvania sites where Sunoco is building the Mariner East 2 pipeline two months after a court-brokered agreement. The settlement between environmental groups and Sunoco Pipeline was designed to prevent horizontal directional drilling from damaging aquifers and spilling fluid into wetlands. Data from the Department of Environmental Protection show 18 “inadvertent [...]

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