Yaw Supports DEP’s Strong Oversight Over Drilling Operations

Senator Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) said that strong and responsive drilling enforcement efforts by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are a clear indication that the system is working and local environmental interests will be protected when drilling violations are found.

“With the rapid increase in Marcellus Shale drilling in our area, there have been legitimate concerns about whether area residents would be protected and how effective enforcement would be,” Yaw said.  “DEP’s aggressive action against Cabot Oil and Gas Corp indicates that it intends to strongly enforce laws and regulations and ensure that violations will be addressed.”

DEP has recently issued a sweeping order requiring Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. to take extensive actions and help the residents of Dimock Township, Susquehanna County, who have been affected by the company’s drilling activities.

Under the consent order and agreement, Cabot must plug three wells within 40 days that are believed to be the source of migrating gas that has contaminated groundwater and the drinking water supplies of 14 homes in the region. It must also install permanent treatment systems in those homes within 30 days.

DEP is immediately suspending its review of Cabot’s pending permit applications for new drilling activities statewide until it fulfills its obligations under the order issued today. Cabot also is barred from drilling any new wells for at least one year in the Dimock Township area.

“DEP has been diligent in inspecting drilling sites, identifying areas where wells may be causing problems for homeowners and following up with those who are in violation,” Yaw said.

“The Department understands that gas migration is a serious environmental and public health issue for communities and is doing its part to strongly enforce the laws. I support their efforts as we move forward in regulating this new and growing industry.”

Senator Yaw has been a steadfast advocate for DEP in its efforts to protect the environment and has faith in their ability to safely monitor the industry for years to come.

Contact: Adam Pankake
(717) 787-3280