Public Comments filed – DEP, EPA & DEP-PITF

Happy Holidays!

Well, it sure has been a run on public comments during the Holiday Season.  But, frankly, in all the years I’ve been doing shale, that’s the way it has been.

The first comment attached is our comment filed with the DEP for Pennsylvania’s Clean Power Plan.  Now, some might not think that has anything to do with unconventional drilling.   But it does – you see, if we’re going to utilize natural gas as a bridge fuel, we need to get policies in place that will do exactly that.  You can read our CPP comment here.

Our second comments attached were filed with the EPA during their comment period for Proposed Rules for the Oil and Gas Industry.  We filed  two comments, one having to do with air aggregation and the other having to do with performance standards.  You can read these comments here and here.

The third set of documents were recently submitted commenting on the PITFPipeline Infrastructure Task Force Draft Report.  You can read our comment here, and refer to our recommendation comment summary here.

By the way, if you’re feeling at all inspired by now, there is still time to submit a comment on the PITF Draft Report.  You may obtain some ideas from our comment.  Our fb page has the details of where to submit comment.  You have until Dec 29th, 11:59 pm at ecomment.gov

The PITF was an incredible opportunity for us from the Northern Tier.  There were several work group participants from the Northern Tier Region.  Marvin Meteer of Wyalusing Township had a seat on the actual Task Force.  He’ll be placing his final votes on these recommendations next month.  I had a seat on the Pipeline Safety and Integrity Work Group.  I’ll kid you not, we did an incredible amount of work in a few short months.  Our work group issued 13 recommendations to the Task Force and all of them will have a direct impact on our Region.

We’ve had an incredibly busy year. We’ve done some really good work to the benefit of continually advocating to reach that delicate balance where all stakeholders thrive.  We’re not there yet folks and we have a ways to go.  But, we’ve made some really good in roads this year.

In the first quarter of 2015, we provided first responders with our final “Pipeline Emergencies” Training.   Our PHMSA grant has been closed out.  We updated our website with information about the training sessions.

In the first quarter I was fortunate to received a four year appointment as an adviser to the DEP Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board (TAB).  That provided us with a greater voice into the regulatory process.  This past week, the TAB members granted the TAB advisers with the opportunity to issue a comment within the TAB Report.   The Chapter 78a rulemaking is closer to becoming an updated environmental law.  February the rulemaking is presented to the EQB.  We are hopeful that the EQB will be agreeable to moving the rulemaking forward.

This summer, again, representing C.O.G.E.N.T.,  I received an appointment to the Pipeline Safety and Integrity Work Group of the PITF.  This was a fitting appointment considering all the work we’ve done on advocating on behalf of pipeline safety.

Recently, Senator Lisa Baker introduced SBSB 1044: State Regulation of Rural Class 1 Unconventional Gathering Pipelines.  We’ve advocated many years in order to have safety regulations promulgated for Class 1 Area gathering lines.  We’re much closer to seeing that become a reality now.

We’ve submitted numerous public comments this year, and testified at several hearings.  We have a voice in the regulatory and policy making process that is so essential to our area having 40% of the unconventional shale gas wells and associated infrastructure.

At the end of the year, I want to take this time to thank everyone who supports our efforts and shares our information.  Without you, we wouldn’t be nearly as effective.

Happy Holidays!

Emily Krafjack, President