Sens. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) and Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) circulated a co-sponsor memo Monday to members of the Senate announcing their intent to introduce legislation to direct the Environmental Quality Board to adopt special rules for conventional oil and gas wells and not regulate them like Marcellus Shale wells. DEP proposed Chapter 78 regulations would regulate conventional and Marcellus Shale wells similarly. The memo said, “Unconventional or Marcellus shale gas well drilling differs greatly from the process used for conventional or shallow well drilling. Act 13 of 2012 created new and vigorous standards for unconventional gas wells which are largely not applicable to conventional oil and gas wells.” Both types of wells, however, can be fracked. “It is important to note that this legislation would not relieve the conventional oil and gas industry from any existing or future health or safety regulations which may be appropriate or necessary. Rather, it would ensure that both industries continue to be held to the highest standards while not burdening the small shallow well drillers with regulatory requirements which are neither feasible or affordable for their industry.”
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