Published: January 6, 2014
By: Earthworks et. al.
In mid-‐December, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued proposed changes to the state’s oil and gas regulations, known as Chapter 78 of the Pennsylvania Code. Act 13, the oil and gas law passed in 2012, requires DEP to make these changes. They are also necessary because regulations for conventional drilling are outdated and inadequate given the large amount of land and water used and waste and pollution produced in shale gas development.
Public participation is essential to making regulations stronger and more protective of air, water, and health! You have until February 12 to submit written comments or testify at hearings. You can use the analysis and talking points below (which cover key parts of the regulations) to prepare your comments. The regulations and public comment information are at: http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/public_resources/20303/surface_regulations/1587188
Please state that the public comment period should be expanded to 120 days minimum and more hearings should be set in affected counties. This is an important and far-‐ reaching rulemaking and more time is needed for people to participate in a meaningful way. Dozens of Pennsylvania organizations and thousands of people have sent letters and a petition calling for these changes.