PEC Restates Support for DEP Proposed Final Rulemaking for Oil and Gas Operations

To: Members of the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee

Re: April 12, 2016 Meeting of the Committee

Dear Senators:

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC), I am writing to restate our support for the Department of Environmental Protection’s proposed Final Rulemaking (Chapter 78 and 78a) for oil and gas operations. Attached is a letter PEC sent to both the Environmental Quality Board and Independent Regulatory Review Commission on January 26, highlighting the unprecedented public and industry engagement in the process.

We urge the Committee to support this rulemaking, which is expressly compelled by Act 13 of 2012 and other environmental protection statutes of the Commonwealth. For that reason, we also wish to express our opposition to Senate Bill 1101 (P.N. 1271), which would negate the proposed Final Rulemaking with respect to conventional oil & gas operations.

In addition, we oppose Senate Bill 1195 (P.N. 1677), which will be considered by the Committee tomorrow. This legislation would further extend legislative review of the Department of Environmental Protection’s proposed implementation of the federal Clean Power Plan. Extension of the review timeframe puts Pennsylvania at further risk of failing to submit a plan on time to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The consequence of such failure will result in Pennsylvania being subject to a federally-imposed implementation plan. Paradoxically, this legislation might undo its own purpose to ensure that Pennsylvania charts its own course for compliance with federal law.

Thank you for your consideration.