Allegheny County moves forward with rules on gas drillers' emissions
Allegheny County officials added a three-day notice to their proposed shale drilling rules, then gave them unanimous preliminary approval on Tuesday.
The five-member county Air Quality Program Regulation Subcommittee recommended that the county start requiring drillers to give three days' notice for each of four stages of their work.
“All this is is a notification ... and it's an aid to county staff,” Bob Orchowski, an industry environmental consultant who chairs the subcommittee, said after the vote. “That was a big selling point: It doesn't apply any new procedures or regulations.”
County officials have considered the rules for about two years to help them monitor air impacts from the county's growing number of shale gas wells. The rules are on track for final passage by the county Board of Health in March.
Air program officials updated their definition of an “unconventional well” to match the definition state legislators passed last year. Industry and state environmental officials asked for the change, saying inconsistency could cause problems. County officials, however, dismissed other concerns the Department of Environmental Protection raised.
The DEP claimed the notification requirements duplicate what the state requires. And it warned the rules may conflict with limits last year's state oil and gas law reforms placed on local control of drill sites, according to a letter Deputy Secretary Vincent J. Brisini sent the county.
That law required notification only to the state and municipalities, county officials said on Tuesday. County officials want notification so they can enforce their regulations on wells in the county, a power federal and state decisions granted them long ago and that Act 13 didn't alter, according to the county's official response to the public comments released at the meeting.
“Giving DEP notice 24 hours ahead of time is not going to help us,” said Jayme Graham, the county's air pollution control manager.
Timothy Puko is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7991 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin not grooming successor to RB Williams
- Penn State coach Franklin calls for patience
- 11 more artist-designed bike racks from Cultural Trust line Pittsburgh streets
- McIntyre students hope Buddy Bench is beneficial to all
- Christmas comes to Westmoreland County in many ways
- North Hills businessman’s secretary pleads guilty, says she helped him hide $27M from IRS
- Bowl destination is at stake for Pitt football in regular-season finale
- Thanksgiving by the numbers
- Rookie linebacker Chickillo adjusting to role with Steelers
- Review: Quantum’s ‘Chickens’ raises risk-reward ante
- ISIS claims hotel attack in Egypt