HARRISBURG – State Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) has asked the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to extend the public comment period for recent revisions made to Chapter 78 regulations, which establishes guidelines for oil and gas operations in the state.
In a letter sent yesterday, Yaw wrote to Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley acknowledging the unprecedented public participation, which included over 24,000 comments, under the previous proposed regulations. As proposed by DEP, the new regulations include never-before seen concepts such as noise standards, bans of certain drilling practices, new standards for storage tanks, and numerous other changes that were never before contemplated during the Department’s development of this regulatory package.
“The Department has only allocated 30 days for public comment, with no public hearings, which is actually the bare-minimum required under state law,” Yaw said. “I believe 30 days would be sufficient if the changes were minor, but that’s not the case. I am asking the Department to extend the public comment period to at least 75 days, which would give all interested parties additional time to completely review the regulations and submit comments that can help to guide the Department as it develops the right approach to fulfilling the legislative mandates laid out in Act 13.”
Pursuant to Act 13 of 2012, the Department is tasked with making revisions to oil and gas regulations under 25 Pa. Code Chapter 78.
“The importance of this package cannot be overstated,” Yaw added. “I am hopeful that the Department will agree that an extension of this public comment period will foster openness and transparency that will benefit both the environment and industry.”
Adam Pankake, (717) 787-3280