On October 4, 2014, the PA DEP published two draft technical guidance documents for comment: “Policy for Coordinating Immediate Responses and Final Remediation of Spills and Releases” and “Standards and Guidelines for Identifying, Tracking, and Resolving Oil and Gas Violations.” Comments for both are due by November 3, 2014.
Policy for Coordinating Immediate Responses and Final Remediation of Spills and Releases:
PA DEP ID: 260-0500-001 (New Guidance).
This new guidance summarizes how the Department oversees immediate responses and final remediation of spills and releases of regulated substances onto soils. It applies to releases of regulated substances as defined in the Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act (35 P.S. §§ 6026.101 – 6026.909). The purpose of the policy is to facilitate the consistent investigation of and the response to spills and to coordinate immediate response needs with final remediation endpoints.
Of note, the guidance points out that most cases involving small spills can avoid municipality and newspaper notification requirements if the remediator can promptly excavate the contaminated soil, sample to demonstrate attainment, and submit the final report within 90 days.
Written comments should be submitted to Molly Adams, Bureau of Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields, P. O. Box 8471, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8471, (717) 787-1566, email@example.com.
Standards and Guidelines for Identifying, Tracking, and Resolving Oil and Gas Violations:
PA DEP ID: 550-3000-001 (Substantive Revision).
Once finalized, this document will replace the previous policy, ‘‘Compliance Monitoring of Oil and Gas Wells and Related Facilities and Activities,’’ that was issued in 2005. The revisions reflect changes to the organizational structure of the agency and update the policies and procedures to reflect current oil and gas development activities in Pennsylvania. This guidance provides direction to PA DEP’s O&G management staff in determining what courses of enforcement to pursue to resolve violations and bring about compliance, and to provide advisory information to the regulated industry. It applies to all conventional and unconventional O&G operators conducting business in Pennsylvania.
The policy sets out basic principles of enforcement, including minimum response for violations; a process for enforcement, resulting in corrective action or penalties; and enforcement priorities. The policy also includes inspection guidelines for the staff, with guidance on coordinating with other departments or agency programs.
Written comments should be submitted to John Ryder, Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of District and Oil and Gas Operations, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 15th Floor, P. O. Box 8765, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8467, firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Comments on Standards and Guidelines for Identifying, Tracking, and Resolving Violations.”
This article was authored by Matthew S. Tyree, Jackson Kelly PLLC. For more information on the author, click here.