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For too long, oil and gas operators in Pennsylvania have conducted their activities under outdated regulations and limited oversight—factors that have helped spur ever-growing impacts on water, air, health, and communities.

While even stronger protections are needed, the final draft Chapter 78 and 78a regulations released by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) represent a significant step forward in aligning the state’s oil and gas regulations with new technologies and modern-day practices used at both conventional and unconventional well sites. They reflect nearly four years of work, including 12 public hearings and 30,000 public comments.

Just as the general public, the oil and gas industry and legislators have had ample time to weigh in on the draft regulations. They have had an even greater opportunity to influence the final regulations due to their representation on various committees overseeing the formal review process. In addition, the oil and gas industry asked for two sets of regulations—and now there are two sets of regulations.

The two sets of regulations are properly promulgated and legally sound. Any continued efforts to derail passage of Chapter 78 and 78a undermine the Commonwealth’s regulatory and policy procedures and DEP’s statutory authority.

Our organizations ask the Independent Regulatory Review Commission to support the swift adoption and implementation of the regulations for both conventional and unconventional oil and gas operations.

A detailed letter to IRRC on the oil and gas regulations from environmental and citizens groups is available at: http://bit.ly/1SrlfFM

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