Mundy bills to toughen drill rules relaunched

Date: February 28, 2011

Freeze on issuance of drill permits sought to allow for study, regulation changes.

MATT HUGHES mhughes@timesleader.com

The first bill, also introduced by Mundy last summer, would place a one-year moratorium on the issuance of new gas drilling permits in order to give the state General Assembly time to enact necessary changes to environmental laws and regulations.

“With thousands of gas wells expected to be drilled in the next decade, we have to make sure appropriate law and regulations are in place,” Mundy said in a statement. “We must ensure that drillers do the job right; prevent problems to the extent possible and, when problems do occur, that they are dealt with effectively.”

Within the first six months of the moratorium, the state Department of Environmental Protection would be required to establish an online tracking system to monitor the storage, transportation and disposal of oil- and gas-drilling wastewater.

Mundy said the legislation would require DEP, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Fish and Boat Commission, and the Game Commission to do a joint study on the cumulative impact of gas and oil drilling in Pennsylvania.

The moratorium bill was also introduced by state Rep. Gerald Mullery, D-Newport Township, and state Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre.

Mundy also reintroduced bills that would bar gas companies from drilling wells beneath or within 2,500 feet of a primary source for a community water system, such as a lake or reservoir, create an online tracking and reporting system for Marcellus Shale waste, and impose restrictions on drilling and site preparations in a flood plain, wastewater disposal and erosion control.

Copyright: Times Leader

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