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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: April 21, 2014 11:59 AM
From: Senator Joseph B. Scarnati, III and Sen. Scott E. Hutchinson
To: All Senate members
Subject: Pa Conventional Oil and Gas Well Regulations Act

In the near future we plan to introduce legislation which would direct the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to separate the drilling, alteration, operation and plugging regulations for unconventional gas wells from those regulations applicable to conventional oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania has a long and successful history of conventional oil and gas drilling. Conventional drilling is often conducted by small operators located in the more rural areas of the state. These small businesses provide family sustaining jobs and energy to many Pennsylvanians.

Unconventional or Marcellus shale gas well drilling differs greatly from the process used for conventional or shallow well drilling. Act 13 of 2012 created new and vigorous standards for unconventional gas well which are largely not applicable to conventional oil and gas wells.

Our legislation would require the EQB to codify separate regulations for conventional and unconventional drilling in the future.

It is important to note that this legislation would not relieve the conventional oil and gas industry from any existing or future health or safety regulations which may be appropriate or necessary. Rather, it would ensure that both industries continue to be held to the highest standards while not burdening the small shallow well drillers with regulatory requirements which are neither feasible or affordable for their industry.

Please join us in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as SB1378