New Castle News

Marcellus Shale

March 23, 2012

Online well drilling sessions offered

NEW CASTLE — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will host online information sessions on implementing Act 13.

That is the new state law governing shale well drilling.

Act 13’s environmental provisions for unconventional gas operations, which take effect April 16, include increased setbacks from buildings and waterways, limited development in flood plains 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 FracFocus.org, a website created by the Ground Water Protection Council and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission to make such information accessible to the public.

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

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

More information and registration are available at www.dep.state.pa.us by clicking the “Act 13” button on the home page.

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