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Time is running out to register for our upcoming Pig Roast, Roundup and Summit

If you haven't already finalized plans to attend next week's PIOGA Pig Roast, Product & Equipment Roundup and Operators Forum & Leadership Summit, now is the time to do so. The deadline for preregistration is this Friday, June 23.

The June 28-29 event at beautiful Seven Springs Mountain Resort includes everyone's favorites -- golf, sporting clays, the Pig Roast, fireworks and other fun networking activities. This year we also have some new features:
  • The Product & Equipment Roundup on Wednesday the 28th offers the opportunity for vendors to showcase their wares in a relaxed, outdoor environment.
  • The Power of Women in Energy Lunch, also on Wednesday, features motivational speaker Coach Monique DeMonaco holding a dialogue onthe unique challenges of being a woman executive or business owner.
  • Thursday's Operators Forum & Leadership Summit will be a departure from our usual technical forum. As our industry emerges from a difficult down cycle, we need to look at strategies other companies -- both inside and outside the energy industry - - have used to become successful in a changing environment. Our Operators Forum and Leadership Summit will provide just those sorts of useful stories and advice.
  • As part of Thursday's program, we will present the OIL Forum - Operating, Innovation and Logistics featuring top executives from three companies that are truly innovative in how they are adapting in today's energy environment. They include Rice Energy, Inc.; Huntley & Huntley Energy Exploration, LLC; and Reliance Well Services.
Don't miss out, register today! Click here for complete details and registration.
Speaking of PIOGA's OIL Forum and Rice Energy...
Did you catch the news that Rice Energy is being acquired by EQT for $6.7 billion to create what is being described as the country's largest natural gas producer? If that's not a reason to come next week and learn what leaders from Rice and other companies have to report, we don't know what is. See you there!
Impact fee payments top $1.2 billion
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission last week announced how the $173 million in impact fees collected from natural gas producers for 2016 will be distributed among municipalities, counties, and environmental and infrastructure programs throughout the Commonwealth.

While it marks the third consecutive year that the total amount of the tax on unconventional wells has decreased due to a decline in drilling and low natural gas prices, the big news is that the fee has now generated more than $1.2 billion since taking effect under Act 13 of 2012. Significantly, the majority of the money goes directly to the places where shale-gas activity is occurring, rather than being drained off by Harrisburg, as a severance tax would be.

Want to see how the money is distributed? Visit the PUC's interactive Act 13 website.
Senate passes bill to give legislature power to kill costly regulations
State regulations expected to cost businesses and governments more than $1 million annually would need to get the General Assembly's endorsement before they could take effect, under a bill the Pennsylvania Senate passed last Tuesday.

Senate Bill 561 would revise the regulatory review process so that the House and Senate must act to adopt economically significant regulations - and could block them by not holding a vote - instead of the current process that allows the Legislature to review and object to regulations, but requires the governor's signature to quash them.

The bill's sponsor, state Sen. John DiSanto, R-Dauphin, has said it reinforces the constitution's balance of powers by giving the Legislature final say on whether regulations comply with the intent of state laws, but Democratic senators and the Wolf administration said it upsets that balance. <Continue reading>
EPA will delay methane rules by two years
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed Tuesday a two-year delay to Obama administration rules limiting methane emissions from hydraulic fracturing operations.

EPA said the delay is necessary so officials can review methane emissions regulations enacted by the Obama administration. The agency will take comments on the proposed delay for the next 30 days before it issues a final decision.

"The agency is proposing a two-year stay of the fugitive emissions, pneumatic pump and professional engineer certification requirements in the rule while the agency reconsiders issues associated with these requirements," reads an EPA press release. <Continue reading>


Member Alert:
Proposed general permits for methane are devastating. Please take action!

It is extremely urgent that members of PIOGA reach out in the days ahead to contact their legislators and provide comments opposing two new general permits the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has proposed to target methane emissions. General Permit 5 (GP-5) is focused on midstream operations, such as compressor stations, and General Permit 5A (GP-5A) applies directly to unconventional operations (for now, it could spread to conventional operators) and wells. If these permits are promulgated unchanged, they have the potential of creating a "moratorium by permit" in Pennsylvania. 

Provided below are a few key questions and answers about the GP-5 and GP-5A permits:

Are methane emissions increasing dramatically that would merit such a drastic measure?

Independent analysis shows that unconventional operators capture nearly 99.99 percent of the methane from wells. DEP's data states that since 2009, methane emissions from oil and gas systems have decreased 0.65%, while production has increased by 977%. This includes not just production and transmission, but also the distribution systems to homes and businesses across Pennsylvania.

Are there currently no rules in place that control emissions?

Pennsylvania already has an effective program in place to control emissions. These include the existing GP-5 and DEP technical guidance requirements, which cover midstream and well site operations, provide predictable requirements for industry and successfully minimize emissions. Facilities such as well sites that are below the permitting threshold must adhere to robust leak detection, repair and reporting requirements, and demonstrate their methane reductions to DEP.

What other industries and or sectors will be subject to these new more stringent regulations?

None. DEP's proposal unfairly targets the unconventional natural gas production and transmission industry (for now) by imposing permit conditions and standards not applicable to any other industry sector.  We are not the only industry that produces emissions, and are certainly not the highest emitters. Just one example: the Commonwealth has approximately one-half million cows and ranks 5th nationally in milk production.

The proposed GP-5 and GP-5A regulations represent a significant expansion of reporting, record keeping and monitoring standards required of no other industry and far exceed the need to verify compliance of those imposed by the Obama Administration's Environmental Protection Agency in 2016.

Regulations require a cost-benefit analysis, when will this occur?

DEP is essentially developing complex regulations through permits that are not subject to the rulemaking process as defined by the Regulatory Review Act (RRA). Because DEP has evaded the RRA and therefore the requirements therein, it has failed to outline the need for these new requirements and has refused to perform a cost-benefit analysis.

Can these permits be processed in a timely manner?

While this answer cannot be determined at this time, history tells us these permits would only further exacerbate the uncertainty and delays surrounding permitting. DEP routinely takes 8-10 months, or longer, to issue air permits, despite previous assurances that they would be reviewed and issued within 30 days. The existing GP-5 permit applications are approximately 145 pages in length when completed. Ohio, on the other hand, recently streamlined its General Permit applications to just three pages.

My company doesn't have emissions, why should I care or comment?

The cost, unreasonable standards and permitting uncertainty contained in these new and revised permits further erodes the competitiveness of the Commonwealth to attract and retain capital investment and jobs while providing little if any tangible environmental benefit.  Any service company or business supporting unconventional natural gas producers has the potential to experience negative consequences if these regulations go into effect.  It is essential that members contact their legislators and provide comments to DEP by June 5th. 


Online form at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/eComment/

Email to ecomment@pa.gov

Department of Environmental Protection Policy Office
Rachel Carson State Office Building
P.O. Box 2063
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063

Comment period deadline is June 5, 2017

For a sample letter to your legislator click here.


PIOGATech - AST's, Secondary Containment and Silica - Monitoring, Safety,


Our next training opportunity will come on July 27, when the the Environmental Committee in conjunction with Laurel Oil & Gas Corporation will present a 6-hour program covering aboveground storage tanks and secondary containment, as well as silica monitoring, safety and regulations. Watch your email or check the PIOGA Events page soon for details and registration.

Read the June issue of The PIOGA Press

Upcoming Events


Assessment of Atmospheric Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Production along the Northeastern Marcellus Shale, July 20, Penn State Extension webinar

Aboveground Storage Tanks, Secondary Containment for ASTs and Silica - Monitoring, Safety, Regulations and You, PIOGA technical training, July 27, The Chadwick, Wexford

Need to find some resource documents that were on the legacy Members Only Area?  Click here. If prompted for a password, use pioga-13.