Daniel B. Markind, Esq.
Weir and Partners, LLP
Proposed DEP regulations changes have been approved for oil & gas drilling and Governor Wolf continues to disappoint.
Yesterday was an extraordinary day in the energy field. In Pennsylvania, following seven hours of public debate and comment, the Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission approved the proposed Department of Environmental Protection changes to Chapters 78 and 78a of the Pennsylvania Code, the rules and regulations governing oil and gas drilling in the Commonwealth.
The vote was 3-2, with everything happening according to script. The Democratic appointees approved the changes, the Republicans did not. Among the changes are updates and expansion of the permitting process, a requirement that drillers identify old and abandoned wells, and a ban on storing waste in pits, using the brine for dust suppression or deicing. As I said before, some are common sense and some make no sense.