Pennsylvania Proposes Tougher Regulations on Natural Gas Drilling

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After Democrats promised to impose tougher regulations on the natural gas industry, Pennsylvania's governor, Tom Wolf, is acting on the party's campaign promise with his announcement for new proposed regulations to go into affect next spring.

Proposed regulations will "target how it stores waste, dampens noise and affects public water resources, schools and playgrounds," according to environmental regulators. Wolf and his administration said their approach was in response to the contamination by leaking wastewater impoundments in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The tougher regulations would include more inspections and reviews of the natural gas industry's six companies that operate 17 impoundments statewide.

Outlined in the proposal, drilling sites within 100 feet of water sources requires companies to create a plan to dampen noise, eliminate pits that store "drill cuttings and wastewater at drilling sites" and require require companies to analyze how drilling could affect drinking water sources near school and playgrounds.

Wolf is also trying to convince lawmakers' to approve a higher tax proposal on the natural gas industry's production to help aid schools.

A 30-day public comment period starts April 4. Wolf hopes to enact the tougher regulations by next spring.

 


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