Pa. proposes tougher regulations on natural gas industry

    Pennsylvania environmental regulators want tougher penalties for natural gas drillers who violate state laws. In a letter to the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, the head of the Department of Environmental Protection proposes strengthening regulations.

    DEP Secretary Michael Krancer wants the commission to recommend greater oversight when it comes to tracking wastewater. Gov. Tom Corbett established the commission to look at revising the state’s drilling regulations.

    Brady Russell of Clean Water Action said he’s pleased with the proposals.

    “That’s a really important step forward and just bolstering the level at which we’re keeping track of how water gets used and where it ends up when they’re done with it is also really important,” said Russell, adding it’s “long overdue.”

    DEP’s proposals also include increasing the industry’s liability for water well contamination. And it would raise the dollar amount that companies have to pay up front to insure proper long-term care of the gas wells.

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