Clean Water Action Responds to DEP’s Important Oil and Gas Rule Comment Period
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
HARRISBURG, PA - This Saturday, May 23rd, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will publish a draft rule in the Pennsylvania Bulletin that will cut methane and air pollution from existing oil and gas operations. This will kick off a 66-day public comment period, and DEP will hold three virtual public hearings on June 24th, 25th and 26th where Pennsylvanians can make their voices heard.
Oil and gas sources are the single-largest industrial source of methane. Methane is the primary component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas that is responsible for 25 percent of the climate change we are already experiencing today. An alarming new analysis found that Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry vents and leaks more than a whopping 1.1 million tons of methane each year, over 16 times more than what industry self-reports to the state. Oil and gas operations also release air pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contribute to the formation of ozone or smog that can exacerbate lung diseases such as asthma or emphysema and lead to the development of heart disease. Methane and VOCs leak at every stage of the gas supply chain, from production and processing to transportation and storage.
“We will be remembered for how we used this opportunity to make an impact on climate change. Given the extent of the methane problem in our Commonwealth, we appreciate Gov. Wolf moving forward with this important rulemaking," said Steve Hvozdovich, Pennsylvania Campaigns Director for Clean Water Action. "We must exude the type of environmental leadership the severity of this climate crisis calls for by strengthening the regulations and closing the loophole for low-producing wells."
Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. We will protect clean water in the face of attacks from a polluter friendly Administration.