Pennsylvania Board Approves New Rules for Gas and Oil Drillers
The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (EQB), which promulgates the state’s environmental regulations, on 3 February approved controversial new rules intended to reduce the surface effects of oil and gas drilling.
The EQB approved the new rules by a 15–4 vote. The rules will likely face a legal challenge from the industry.
The last revision of the rules came in 2001, 3 years before the first Marcellus shale well was drilled, launching a boom that has turned Pennsylvania into the nation’s second-largest gas-producing state.
“Work on this package began almost 5 years ago,” said John Quigley, secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. “It’s time to finish the job and put these reasonable, balanced, and incremental protections for public health and the environment into effect.”