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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

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 [...]

Appeals court clears way for eminent domain suit against Sunoco Logistics

A Pennsylvania appeals court on Wednesday rejected an attempt by Sunoco Logistics to throw out a challenge to its planned Mariner East 2 pipeline, clearing the way for the environmental group Clean Air Council to argue against the company’s use of eminent domain to build the pipeline. The Commonwealth Court denied the company’s request for [...]

DEP launches investigation into Doylestown-area private water well contamination

Last month, the federal Environmental Protection Agency instituted more rigorous health advisory levels for chemicals called polyfluorinated compounds or PFCs. Suddenly, a well on Easton Road in Bucks County known to contain PFC’s was above the new, stricter cutoff. As of 2016, the new recommended lifetime exposure level in drinking water for two PFCs — known [...]

Former environmental secretary hired by University of Pennsylvania

A month after his controversial departure from the state Department of Environmental Protection, former Secretary John Quigley has landed a new job as a Senior Fellow at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design. “It’s exciting. I am very happy to be at Kleinman,” Quigley tells StateImpact Pennsylvania. [...]

Lawsuit accuses Range Resources and lab of doctoring water test results

A water testing company that worked with Range Resources to evaluate whether or not residential water supplies were contaminated is defending itself against a lawsuit that claims the company allowed the gas driller to alter a print out of the test results, which Range then submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP used [...]

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