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PROPOSED RULEMAKING

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

[ 25 PA. CODE CH. 78 ]

Oil and Gas Wells

[40 Pa.B. 623]
[Saturday, January 30, 2010]

 The Department of Environmental Protection (Department) is soliciting comments on proposed changes to its regulations for the construction of oil and gas wells. The updated casing and cementing requirements will provide an increased degree of protection for both public and private water supplies.

 The proposed rulemaking would incorporate and update existing requirements, with modifications regarding the drilling, casing, cementing, testing, monitoring and plugging of oil and gas wells, and the protection of water supplies. The amended sections are §§ 78.1, 78.51, 78.52, 78.71—78.73, 78.81—78.85, 78.88 and 78.89, 78.91—78.96 and 78.122. The proposed modifications include updated material specifications and performance testing and revised design, construction, operational, monitoring, plugging, water supply replacement, and gas migration reporting requirements. With this proposed rulemaking, the Department is adding additional measures that will further minimize the concerns associated with gas migration.

 While there is no legal requirement to provide an opportunity to comment upon the Department's recommendations for proposed rulemaking prior to submission to the Environmental Quality Board (Board), the Department believes further discussion would serve the public interest in this instance. A copy of the draft proposed regulations is available on the Department's web site at www.depweb.state.pa.us (DEP Keyword: ''Oil and Gas'') or by contacting the Bureau of Oil and Gas Management at (717) 772-2199. Following the Department's consideration of the public comments on this proposal, the Department will summarize the comments and responses and submit an official proposed rulemaking to the Board. Additional public comments will be solicited following approval by the Board.

Written Comments: Interested persons are invited to submit comments, suggestions or objections regarding the proposed amendments to the Bureau of Oil and Gas Management, P. O. Box 8765, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8765 (express mail: Rachel Carson State Office Building, 5th Floor, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101-2301). Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted. Comments, suggestions or objections must be received by the Department by March 2, 2010.

Electronic Comments: Comments may be submitted electronically to the Department at ra-epoilandgas@ state.pa.us and must also be received by the Department by March 2, 2010. A subject heading of the proposal and a return name and address must be included in each transmission. If the sender does not receive an acknowledgement of electronic comments within 2 working days, the comments should be retransmitted to ensure receipt.

 Persons in need of accommodations as provided for in the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 should contact the Department at (717) 787-4526 or through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TDD) to discuss how the Department can best accommodate their needs.

JOHN HANGER, 
Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 10-183. Filed for public inspection January 29, 2010, 9:00 a.m.]



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