The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB), an independent board responsible for adopting environmental regulations, passed the revisions to the oil and gas drilling regulations by a vote of 15 to 4.
The “Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites” (Chapters 78 and 78a) rulemaking modernizes and strengthens the environmental controls employed by both the conventional and unconventional industries to assure the protection of public health, safety, and the environment.
In addressing surface activities at well sites, the amendments improve protection of water resources, add public resources considerations, protect public health and safety, address landowner concerns, enhance transparency, and improve data management. The regulatory language has been formulated with the input of more than 25,000 Pennsylvania residents.
“These updated rules are long overdue and it’s time to get them across the finish line for the protection of public health, for industry certainty, and for the protection of our state’s environment,” said DEP Secretary John Quigley.
“The changes are incremental, balanced, and appropriate, and are the result of one of the most transparent and engaged public processes in the history of the agency.”
The rules will now be delivered to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission and the House and Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committees for review.