The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) issued draft revisions of the Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites. According to the DEP’s press release, the specific changes would:
- Require operators to demonstrate that streams and wetlands will be protected if the edge of the well pad is within 100 feet of the resource,
- Require centralized wastewater impoundments to be permitted through more appropriate Residual Waste Regulations (with existing impoundments upgraded or closed within 3 years of the effective date),
- Expand the review of impacts that operators must conduct to include public resources, such as schools, playgrounds and approved wellhead protection areas,
- Require operators to identify active, inactive, orphan and abandoned wells and submit a plan report to DEP at least 30 days prior to drilling,
- Create standards for noise control and mitigation, and
- Modernize notification and report submission to improve efficiency and ease reporting.
Read the full press release here.