Trade Group Seeks To Block New Drilling Rules

Oct 5, 2016

 

A vista in the Tiadaghton State Forest showing a drill rig in the far distance.
Credit Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania

An oil and gas trade group is seeking to block new Marcellus Shale drilling regulations scheduled to take effect later this week. The rules have been in development since 2011 and have been the subject of significant controversy.

The Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA) objects to regulatory language giving the state Department of Environmental Protection a greater role in scrutinizing well permit applications near public resources, such as parks.

PIOGA cites the state Supreme Court’s ruling last week, which held that the section of the state’s oil and gas law dealing with protecting public resources is no longer in effect. On Friday, PIOGA attorney Kevin Moody sent a letter to the state’s Joint Committee on Documents and Office of Attorney General, which both oversee regulatory changes.

“Publication would improperly give the force and effect of law to regulatory provisions that are based on invalid and enjoined statutory authorization,” Moody wrote.

After getting an unfavorable ruling a lawsuit on the matter last month in Commonwealth Court, PIOGA has also appealed the case to the state Supreme Court.

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