from Conservation Voters of PA, 1/9/14
In December, the PA Department of Environmental Protection proposed changes to the laws that govern oil and gas drilling. These changes and updates are critical since the current laws were written before the fracking boom.
We need to make sure these new rules are strong enough to protect our water, air, and health. The DEP is required to take public comments before the rules are finalized. That’s why we need you to let the DEP know that these rules must be as strong as possible.
Please take a minute to go to the DEP web site and submit your comments. Since the form is on the state DEP site, there are few short steps. Don’t worry, it’s easy.
Here are the instructions to submit comments:
1) Click HERE
2) Review the instructions and click “Agree.”
3) Fill out the form and add your comments. (Feel free to cut and paste the sample message into the comments box.)
Here’s a sample message for your comments:
Thanks for taking public comments on the state’s oil and gas regulations, known as Chapter 78 of the Pennsylvania Code. I want to make sure that the new regulations protect the air, water, and health of everyone in PA.
Here are my recommendations:
The DEP should require drilling company operators to restore contaminated drinking water to a quality that meets Safe Drinking Water Act standards, no matter what the quality of the water prior to drilling.
Drilling company operators should be prohibited from using open pits for storage waste. Many spills, leaks, and other problems involving open pits have occurred statewide that contaminate water, soil and air.
When it comes to waste disposal, drilling company operators should follow the federal regulation of hazardous substances that other industries have to follow.
Drillers must identify existing wells before site and well construction and drilling (not just fracking), so that the location of a new well can be changed if needed. Drillers should then be responsible to plug and seal or otherwise appropriately address abandoned and orphaned wells according to state safety standards prior to well site construction.
Thanks for taking the time to make your voice heard. This is an important opportunity to change the future of our state.
Conservation Voters of PA
P. S. Many thanks to the coalition of groups who are organizing this effort to get public comments to the DEP on this critical issue: Berks Gas Truth, Clean Water Action, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Earthworks, Clean Air Council, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, Inc, and the Sierra Club, Pennsylvania Chapter.