Senator Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) said a decision by the Administration to add personnel and step up enforcement of natural gas exploration will help to ensure public safety in areas were drilling is taking place and protect the state’s environment and water supplies.
“This is great news for our area, as drilling increases and more companies begin extraction,” Yaw said. “With this fast-growing activity, we need to ensure that safeguards are in place and regulations are followed.”
The governor today announced the hiring of 68 additional employees to perform inspections and ensure that companies are complying with state laws. The Department of Environmental Protection is also strengthening oil and gas regulations to enhance well construction standards.
“As drilling increases in the Marcellus Shale formation, these additional safeguards will be crucial to ensuring that our citizens and communities are not adversely affected,” Yaw said. “This rich natural gas resource is a huge boon to this area and to economic develop, but the additional personnel are needed to ensure that companies comply with environmental laws and regulations.”
Yaw said the 68 additional personnel will be funded entirely from money generated by new, higher permitting fees and not by the taxpayers.
He also voiced his strong support for the tougher well construction standards to prevent gas leaks that could contaminate homes and water wells.
“We have a wonderful natural resource in this area that can help to provide us with revenue and energy independence, but we need to manage it effectively and safety,” Yaw said.
Contact: Adam Pankake