Mar 28, 2012

Informational Sessions on New Pennsylvania Fracking Law Planned

Pennsylvania DEP will host four online sessions in March and April

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will host online information sessions on implementing Act 13, which Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law in February to further protect the environment and place more stringent regulations on the natural gas drilling industry.

“Act 13 reaffirms our strong commitment to safe, responsible, environmentally sensitive and transparent natural gas development here in Pennsylvania,” said DEP Secretary Mike Krancer. “Our intent with these sessions is to explain the law and answer whatever questions people may have.”

Act 13's environmental provisions for unconventional gas operations, which take effect April 16, include increased setbacks from buildings and waterways, limited development in floodplains, and increased time and distance provisions in which gas drillers are presumed liable for water contamination until evidence proves otherwise, among other things.

Operators also must register their hydraulic fracturing fluid ingredients with, a website created by the Ground Water Protection Council and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission to make such information accessible to the public.

DEP will offer four one-hour sessions, starting with a general overview of Act 13 on March 27; details on permitting and notifications on April 3; information about environmental protection and enhancement on April 10; and a session on inspections and enforcement on April 17.

The sessions, which will begin at 1 p.m., will be presented live through Cisco WebEx software. There is a maximum of 500 attendees to each session due to technological limitations. DEP will post recordings of the presentations on its website.