Many of the changes to the regulations were made to comply with the 2012 Oil and Gas Act (known as Act 13). Among the changes to the current regulations:
- Improved protections of public resources: DEP can require additional protective measures if drilling would be near school property and playgrounds, parks, forests, and other public resources.
- Strengthened water supply restoration standards: If oil and gas development degrades a water supply, the operator must restore or replace the supply with one that meets Safe Drinking Water Act standards or is as good as pre-drilling conditions if the water supply was better than the Drinking Water Act standards.
- Electronic filing: In order to more efficiently track well development and operations, and to provide better public access to drilling data, operators will be required to submit electronic forms rather than paper.
The final regulations can be found in the Pennsylvania Bulletin here: http://www.pabulletin.com/index.asp
Training sessions and information for oil and gas operators on complying with the new regulations has already begun – for more information and to view previous webinars, please click here: http://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Energy/OilandGasPrograms/OilandGasMgmt/Public-Resources/Pages/Oil-and-Gas-Surface-Regulations.aspx