HARRISBURG, Pa., April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced the dates and locations for three public hearings to discuss revisions to the Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites (Chapter 78 and 78a). The hearings were added to the recently-extended public comment period for the draft final rule.
DEP originally planned a 30-day public comment period for Chapter 78 and 78a, which began on April 4, 2015. On April 6, DEP announced that the public comment period would be extended by an additional 15 days and end on May 19. Three public hearings were also added. The extended public comment period and added hearings will allow more time for citizens to submit written or verbal comments on the changes made to the draft final versions of Chapter 78 and 78a.
Each hearing will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. The dates and locations are as follows:
- April 29 – Washington and Jefferson College, Rossin Campus Center – Allen Ballroom, 60 S. Lincoln St., Washington, PA 15301
- April 30 – Warren County Courthouse, 204 4th Ave., Warren, PA 16365
- May 4 – Pennsylvania College of Technology's Klump Academic Center, 1 College Ave., Williamsport, PA 17701
During the hearings, each speaker will have the opportunity to present up to five minutes of verbal testimony. To ensure that all speakers have a fair and equal opportunity to present their testimony, relinquishing of time to other speakers will be prohibited, and groups are asked to designate one speaker. All presenters should bring three copies of their comments and exhibits for submission to DEP.
Those who wish to present testimony during the hearing are asked to register in advance by contacting the DEP Policy Office at 717-783-8727. Individuals will be called to testify in the order they registered. If time permits at the hearing, those who did not register in advance will be given the opportunity to testify.
Those who prefer to present their comments in writing or who are unable to attend one of the hearings may submit written testimony online at http://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/RegComments or by e-mail to [email protected]. They may also send comments to DEP Policy Office, 400 Market St., P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063. Comments must be received by May 19, 2015. A subject heading of the rulemaking, the commentator's full name, and a return address must be included in each comment submission.
DEP will consider relevant comments and provide a written response in its final rulemaking.
Individuals in need of an accommodation during the hearing as provided for in the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at 800-654-5984 (TDD).
The purpose of this rulemaking is to modify and update existing requirements for surface activities at conventional and unconventional oil and gas well sites, implement Act 13 of 2012, and codify existing policy. The revisions include separate chapters to address conventional and unconventional development. The amendments are offered to improve protection of water resources, add public resources considerations, protect public safety, address landowner concerns, enhance transparency, and improve data management.
The revisions are available by visiting www.dep.state.pa.us and clicking the "Oil and Gas Rulemaking" button.
MEDIA CONTACT: Amanda Witman, 717-787-1323
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection