Friday, August 31, 2012

DEP Circulates Concept Paper On Changes To Oil And Gas Drilling Regulations

DEP Circulates Concept Paper On Changes To Oil And Gas Drilling Regulations
On Wednesday the Department of Environmental Protection issued a concept paper to the agency’s Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board on proposed changes to Pennsylvania’s Chapter 78 Oil and Gas Regulations required by the Marcellus Shale drilling law adopted in February as Act 13.

The bulleted list of proposed changes cover application requirements, well location restrictions, proposed protection of water supplies, predrilling or prealteration survey requirements, erosion and sedimentation controls, wastewater control and disposal planning, standards for pit and tank containment and much more.
DEP said proposed language to implement these changes should be available online on or about September 14.
DEP has scheduled two additional Oil and Gas Board meetings to review these proposals on September 17 and October 15.  The proposals will also be shared with DEP’s Small Business Compliance Assistance Advisory Committee on October 24.

DEP anticipates finalizing proposed language at the November 15 Oil and Gas Board meeting and then send it to the Environmental Quality Board on December 12 for their consideration.

Key Parts of Interest

1.Propose adding a requirement that a well operator identify on the well permit application the location of abandoned gas or oil wells within 1000 feet of the entire well bore length.

2. Propose adding regulations to this section to ensure compliance with the 2012 Oil and Gas Act 58 Pa.C.S.§ 3218(a).

3. Propose adding language to the requirement of notifying the Department within 24 hours of any water supply complaints a well operator receives, that it be by electronic means.

4.Propose to require the submission of chain-of-custody documentation with the results of the laboratory analysis. 

5.Propose requiring the development of a site-specific PPC plan.  Also add the 2012 Oil and Gas Act requirement for unconventional wells to also have a site-specific containment plan noting which containment systems and equipment will be utilized to contain, control and prevent spills from leaving the well site.

6.Propose that the operator conduct continuous inspections of the drilling operations(including drilling pressures and fluid returns), all water bodies in close proximity, and the surrounding area for any signs an inadvertent return during horizontal drilling operations.  Documentation of such inspections shall be made available to the Department upon request.

7. § 78.70. Roadspreading of Brine for Dust Control and Road Stabilization

Conventional Energy Related Systems

The conventional energy related systems program targets individuals that are working in the field of oil, coal, natural gas, and petrochemical processing.  Courses timely topic that include natural gas development, carbon sequestering, and deep well injection.

No comments:

Post a Comment