Harrisburg – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Environmental Quality Board announced today that the public comment period for a proposed regulation for environmental protection performance standards associated with oil and gas activities will open on Saturday, Dec. 14.
The Environmental Quality Board (EQB) is a 20-member independent board chaired by the Secretary of DEP that adopts all of the department’s regulations and considers petitions to change regulations. During the public comment period, the EQB will be hosting seven public hearings across Pennsylvania and offer multiple ways to submit comments.
Along with the EQB hearings, DEP will be holding two webinars on Thursday, Dec. 19, from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Friday, Jan. 3, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., to present information and answer questions on the proposed regulation.
“Public participation is a key part to forging the best regulations possible,” DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo said. “An exceptional number of hearings are being offered by the EQB to gather information and to be sure that people’s voices are heard.”
The proposed regulation implements key provisions of Act 13 of 2012, including further consideration of impacts to public resources, such as parks and wildlife areas; the prevention of spills; the management of waste; and the restoration of well sites after drilling.
Additionally, the draft rulemaking also includes standards affecting the construction of gathering lines and temporary pipelines, and includes provisions for identifying and monitoring abandoned wells close to proposed well sites.
People wishing to present verbal testimony at a hearing are requested to contact the EQB at least one week in advance of the hearing to reserve a time. Those who wish to present testimony at the hearing may use the address below or call the EQB at 717-787-4526 to reserve time to testify. All relevant written and oral comments that are received at a public hearing will be considered when finalizing the regulation.
Witnesses are limited to five minutes of testimony and are requested to submit three written copies of their testimony to the hearing chairperson at the hearing. Organizations are limited to designating one witness to present testimony on their behalf at each hearing. Read more...