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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

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, [...]

Older Pa. gas storage wells threaten methane leaks, study says

Pennsylvania has hundreds of underground natural gas storage sites that are vulnerable to methane leaks because they were built at least 60 years ago, and were probably never designed to store gas, according to a Harvard University study released on Tuesday. The national study said Pennsylvania has 830 such sites that are in active use [...]

State senate confirms McDonnell as environmental secretary

The state senate unanimously approved Governor Tom Wolf’s pick to head the state Department of Environmental Protection on Monday. DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell has been at the helm of the agency for nearly a year. He was appointed last May after the abrupt departure of his predecessor, John Quigley, who was ensnared in controversy over an angry email [...]

Senate panel approves Wolf’s pick for environmental secretary

A state Senate panel has unanimously approved Governor Tom Wolf’s choice to lead the state Department of Environmental Protection. Patrick McDonnell has already been on the job for nearly a year, as DEP’s Acting Secretary. He was appointed after the abrupt departure of his predecessor, John Quigley, who was ensnared in controversy over an angry [...]

EPA urges Pennsylvania to move faster on water safety issues

Federal regulators are urging Pennsylvania to act quickly to fix serious staffing shortfalls in the state’s safe drinking water program. In December EPA sent Pennsylvania a letter warning its water program was so under-staffed it was failing to enforce federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards. Pennsylvania responded by saying it planned to hike fees on public water [...]

New Jersey rejects PennEast application for water permit for now, gives company new deadline

The embattled PennEast natural gas pipeline suffered another blow on Wednesday when New Jersey officials rejected the company’s current application for a freshwater wetlands permit, saying it lacked a long list of information. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection gave PennEast another 30 days to submit information ranging from tax maps and historic property [...]

EPA cuts would leave states with more work, less money

The Trump administration has proposed cutting 2.6 billion dollars from the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s about a third of its budget. It could mean state environmental agencies will have to do more work with less money. But in many places, those agencies are already strapped. Late last year the EPA sent Pennsylvania a letter warning its [...]

State sues townships that tried to ban injection wells

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is suing two rural townships that attempted to block underground disposal wells for oil and gas wastewater. On Monday DEP approved two new injection well permits in Highland Township, Elk County, and Grant Township, Indiana County. In its public announcement, the agency didn’t mention it was filing a lawsuit [...]

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