HARRISBURG – In a 3-2 decision, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) voted yesterday to approve controversial regulations pertaining to the conventional and unconventional oil and gas industries, according to state Senator Gene Yaw (R-23).
After a lengthy public meeting, IRRC Commissioners opted to support the regulations despite on-going concerns voiced by the General Assembly that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) disregarded state law and a Supreme Court opinion.
“I recognize that strong regulations are needed to allow for safe development of our natural resources,” Yaw said. “However, the objections raised by both standing committees and two IRRC Commissioners to this rulemaking are warranted given the fact that the Department has circumvented state laws and a Supreme Court opinion in an effort to justify expanded provisions of the rulemaking that they are not authorized to enact.”
The regulations, known as Chapter 78 and 78A, are intended to update existing regulations for oil and gas well sites.
“This administration has touted the development and use of natural gas, but then proposes industry crippling severance taxes and far-reaching regulations,” Yaw said. “The Department has not worked collaboratively with the General Assembly to address the valid concerns for this rulemaking. Unfortunately, we are at a point where a disapproval resolution is necessary, which I will support.”
Adam Pankake, Executive Director (717) 787-3280