Senate Approves Bill Weakening Drilling Regulations

Jul 14, 2016

The amendment bars state environmental regulators from implementing some portions of the new drilling regulations they have proposed.
Credit Matt Rourke / AP

The state Senate voted Monday to approve an amendment that would undo parts of the state’s pending oil and gas regulations.

SB 1229 is now in the House. The bill was introduced in May and initially pertained to horse breeding, however an amendment approved Monday restricts state environmental regulators from implementing some of their proposed regulations for Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale industry (known as Chapter 78a), which are currently under review at the Attorney General’s office.

It’s the most recent maneuver in a protracted battle over the proposed rulesbetween Governor Tom Wolf’s administration and the Republican-led legislature. Last month it seemed a detente had been reached, when Wolf signed a bill that tossed out half the regulatory package– eliminating the rules for the conventional oil and gas industry.

This new amendment, put forward by Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R- Allegheny) bars the the state Department of Environmental Protection from making drillers submit waste reports more than twice a year, which is the current requirement. The DEP is seeking monthly waste reports, after large discrepancies between what landfills and drillers reported were uncovered by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Find more of this report on the site of our partner, StateImpact Pennsylvania