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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

Sunoco rejects township’s attempt to block valve for Mariner East 2

Sunoco Logistics rejected an attempt by a Chester County township to block construction of a valve for its Mariner East 2 pipeline, saying the project is a public utility that may not be regulated by municipalities. West Goshen Township in the western suburbs of Philadelphia wrote to the company last month denying it permission to [...]

Pennsylvania launches program promoting solar energy

The state Department of Environmental Protection is moving ahead with a 30-month program to kick-start a major solar energy initiative called Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future. Acting DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell appeared on WITF’s Smart Talk Wednesday to discuss the program, which is funded by $550,000 from the federal Department of Energy. Although less than one percent of [...]

DEP proposes fee increase to improve drinking water standards

Susan Phillips / StateImpact PA DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell speaks about climate change at an event hosted by the Academy of Natural Sciences, January 27, 2017. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is working on a plan to avoid losing control over its safe drinking water program, along with millions in federal dollars. Back in [...]

Judge denies latest call to halt Mariner East 2 construction

A Pennsylvania judge on Thursday rejected a request by opponents of the Mariner East 2 pipeline to reconsider his earlier denial of an order that could have halted construction of the line. Judge Bernard Labuskes of the Environmental Hearing Board said Clean Air Council and two other environmental groups had not presented information in their [...]

A year later, pipeline report is largely ignored

Pennsylvania has rapidly become a hub for the development of new natural gas pipelines. In recent weeks, billions of dollars worth of projects have been approved by state and federal regulators. Shortly after he took office, Governor Tom Wolf convened a major task force to recommend ways to coordinate planning and best practices for this building boom. [...]

State funding to DEP is inadequate, says advisory panel

An advisory panel to the state Department of Environmental Protection warns consistent cuts to the agency over the last 20 years have reached an “unsustainable level.” In a letter sent Tuesday to state Senate Appropriations Committee chairs Patrick Browne and Vincent Hughes, DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council chairman William Fink says the cuts are threatening the [...]

DEP to hold meeting on decades-long effort to rebuild crumbling DelCo dam

Pennsylvania environmental officials are holding a public meeting Wednesday to discuss developments on a decades-long effort to rebuild a crumbling dam in Delaware County. It comes just over one week after concerns about eroding infrastructure at the Oroville Dam in Northern California forced more than 180,000 people to evacuate their homes. The Broomall Lake Dam [...]

Sunoco clears trees, builds drill pads for Mariner East 2 pipeline

Preliminary construction work for the Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline took place in Delaware and Huntingdon Counties on Monday, a week after state officials issued the final permits for the controversial cross-state project. Workers cleared trees and built drill pads in Aston in Delaware County and Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County, the first [...]

Pennsylvania confirms first fracking-related earthquakes

Pennsylvania officials say they’ve confirmed the state’s first fracking-related earthquakes took place last year in Lawrence County, northwest of Pittsburgh. As a result, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is stepping up its requirements for drilling in that part of the state, which is known for seismic activity. In April 2016, Texas-based Hilcorp Energy Company [...]

West Goshen says Sunoco violated Mariner East agreement

Chester County’s West Goshen Township filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Friday, alleging that Sunoco Logistics is violating an agreement on a section of its controversial Mariner East pipeline project that runs through the municipality. The complaint says Sunoco has failed to install a remote-control valve on the existing Mariner East [...]

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