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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

Senate budget measure would outsource environmental permit review

The Pennsylvania Senate on Thursday approved a package of budget measures that includes a startling plan to speed up state approval of environmental permits by outsourcing reviews to third parties. The Senate passed by 26-24 a series of amendments designed to end a month-long budget stalemate by providing revenue to pay for a $32 billion [...]

DEP issues few violations, one fine for Sunoco’s pipeline construction spills

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection has issued four Notices of Violation, one consent order and one fine to Sunoco Pipeline for dozens of drilling mud spills that occurred along the length of the Mariner East 2 pipeline construction project. The DEP released a statement on Friday describing its efforts to manage Sunoco’s construction of the [...]

Wolf weighs bill that would aid development of long-wall coal mines

Governor Tom Wolf is weighing a bill that would make it easier for an energy company to obtain permits for the controversial process of long-wall coal mining beneath a state park in southwest Pennsylvania but which opponents say could damage streams in the area. Senate Bill 624 landed on Wolf’s desk on Tuesday after being [...]

Chesco homes hit with water problems near Sunoco pipeline construction site

Around a dozen Chester County households experienced cloudy water or loss of supply from their private wells this week, forcing some families from their homes near a location where Sunoco Pipeline is conducting horizontal directional drilling about 150 feet below ground for the construction of its Mariner East 2 pipeline. Five families spent Wednesday night [...]

NJ blocks PennEast water permit again; company says it will reapply

New Jersey issued its latest rejection of a water-quality permit for the proposed PennEast natural gas pipeline, dealing a new blow to the embattled project. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday the PennEast Pipeline Co. had failed again to submit all the requested information in its application for the permit, which the department [...]

Pa. Supreme Court’s landmark environmental ruling faces first test​

A landmark ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court means that state agencies and judges will have to pay more attention to the public’s right to clean air and water when making permit decisions and issuing court rulings. At the same time, officials will have to stop using oil and gas lease revenues to fund day-to-day [...]

State regulators hold hearings on Atlantic Sunrise pipeline

More than 100 people turned out in Lancaster County Monday evening to weigh in on the Atlantic Sunrise, a large interstate natural gas line planned to run through 10 counties in Pennsylvania. State environmental regulators are hosting four public hearings this week to accept public comment on pending permit applications. Williams, the company building the [...]

Lawmakers, state officials clash over regulatory oversight

GOP lawmakers and the Wolf administration have renewed their sparring over state government regulation, butting heads on environmental rules. The discussion in a House State Government committee meeting was ostensibly focused on Department of Environmental Protection regulations. However, it also delved into some more deep-seated disagreements over how the commonwealth is run. Officials from the [...]

PA, Philadelphia will press on with climate policies despite Trump withdrawal from Paris pact

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the landmark Paris climate accord isn’t likely to derail Pennsylvania’s efforts to curb methane emissions, and it strengthens Philadelphia’s determination to set its own climate policy, officials said. Trump’s rejection on Thursday of the historic agreement to stop global temperatures rising more than an average of 2 degrees [...]

DEP demands more information on plans for Bucks County hazardous waste site

Pennsylvania on Tuesday again delayed a controversial project that would recycle hazardous waste in Bucks County, saying that a permit application was incomplete. The Department of Environmental Protection said part of the application by Elcon, a processor of waste from industries including petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and semiconductors, had not submitted the required information in six categories, [...]

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