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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

New online tool will track oil and gas operations

Pennsylvania has launched a new online tool to make it easier for the public to review documents submitted by the unconventional oil and gas industry. The change is part of a broader push from the Department of Environmental Protection to upgrade its technological capabilities. Last month, the agency’s oil and gas inspectors received iPads, after years [...]

Trump’s EPA cuts would endanger Pennsylvanians, says environmental chief

The state’s top environmental regulator is warning his federal counterpart that proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency would have an “immediate and devastating effect” in Pennsylvania. On Thursday the Trump administration released a budget blueprint which seeks to cut roughly a third of the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget – some $2.6 billion. In a sharply-worded letter [...]

DEP staffer behind contested mining permit had worked for coal company

A judge has raised concerns over how the state Department of Environmental Protection handled a controversial mining permit under a western Pennsylvania state park. Court records show the agency’s approval of the Consol Energy permit partially relied on data collected by a DEP staffer who had previously done consulting work for Consol. Two environmental groups challenged [...]

DEP approved Mariner East 2 permits despite deficiencies, documents show

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection issued final permits for the Mariner East 2 pipeline even though the pipeline’s builder, Sunoco Logistics, had not met all regulatory requirements at the time of issuance, DEP documents show. The state’s top environmental regulator acknowledged that the company’s applications for permits on water crossings and soil disturbance contained many [...]

Environmental chief warns of ‘significant’ staffing shortages

Pennsylvania’s top environmental regulator warns his agency is dealing with significant staffing shortages, following years of shrinking funding from the state. His comments come amid reported plans by the Trump administration to drastically cut the EPA’s budget. Such a move could devastate the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which heavily relies on federal money. “We [...]

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. [...]

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