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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

‘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, [...]

Mariner East 2 partisans clash at DEP public meeting in West Chester

Friends and foes of Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 plan to build two natural gas liquids pipelines across southern Pennsylvania lined up to support or attack the plan in equal measures at a public meeting called by the Department of Environmental Protection in West Chester on Wednesday evening. Arguments on both sides strayed well beyond the [...]

Attorney General reaches agreement with XTO over criminal charges

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office has reached a settlement with XTO Energy, a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, over criminal charges filed in 2013 for a wastewater spill that occurred in 2010. The AG’s office has used a rehabilitation program primarily reserved for drunk drivers with no prior record, to avoid trial. Under the program, known [...]

New environmental secretary hopes to resurrect drilling rules

The new head of the Department of Environmental Protection says he hopes his staff can work quickly to resurrect regulations for the conventional oil and gas industry that got tossed out during the annual state budget negotiations in Harrisburg. “Obviously, we have a good starting point with the existing reg,” says Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “But [...]

State regulators unveil updated oil and gas map

The state Department of Environmental Protection has unveiled an updated version of its interactive mapping tool for Pennsylvania’s oil and gas wells. “Making such data available and easy to use promotes transparency and allows the public to generate the information they want on demand,” said DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell in a statement. The updated oil [...]

DEP plans public hearings for Sunoco’s Mariner 2 pipeline

State environmental regulators will hold a series of public hearings in August to get public feedback on pending permit applications for a major natural gas liquids pipeline project. The so-called Mariner 2 line, would run parallel to its predecessor (the Mariner East 1) through 17 counties in Pennsylvania’s southern tier. But unlike that project, which [...]

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