Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Mike Krancer said that changes in management structure within DEP mean that the Oil and Gas office will be divided into a "strategic arm" and a "tactical arm."

Krancer's comments came the day after he announced in a statement that the Bureau of Oil and Gas Management will elevate to becoming a deputate, which will unify oversight of this industry by Harrisburg-based and regional staff.

Krancer said that DEP will continue to make decisions based on facts and sound science by providing enhanced, unified oversight to the natural gas industry; emphasizing the revitalization of brownfields; providing consistent, predictable decision making; and delivering compliance assistance and pollution-prevention education.

"These organizational changes will enhance the department's ability to protect Pennsylvania's air, water and land, and also will result in a consistent and predictable regulatory system," Krancer said.

The Bureau of Oil and Gas Planning and Program Management will be responsible for setting up long-term strategic development. The District Oil and Gas Operations office will handle the day-to-day implementation of regulatory operations and ensure consistency in the application of rules in the field, he said.

Highlights of the changes include:

  • A new bureau of Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields will be created under the Office of Waste, Air, Radiation and Remediation. This new bureau will house all aspects of site cleanup and will more closely mirror the structure used in environmental cleanup statewide.
  • A new Bureau of Conservation and Reclamation will be created to better-align the Office of Water Management’s core functions, and others will be realigned. The new bureau will incorporate staff assigned to restoring streams affected by acid mine drainage. By aligning staff assigned to stream restoration, DEP will further improve the focus of the Office of Active and Abandoned Mine Operations.
  • A new Office of Pollution Prevention and Energy Assistance will be formed, so that the agency can enhance its efforts to communicate and educate these values and provide know-how, tools and partnering. The reorganization will also create the Office of Program Integration to develop and coordinate the implementation of initiatives, as well as examine and improve program efficiency across the agency.