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DEP announces changes to speed up wetland and waterway encroachment permit reviews
As part of efforts to reduce permit backlogs, the Department of Environmental Protection has announced revisions to the instructions and forms for Chapter 105 General Permit Registrations relating to water obstructions and encroachments. DEP says the revisions will improve the quality of General Permit registration requests, eliminate unnecessary redundancies, and reduce review time frames. The new forms and instructions will go into effect beginning March 26.

The new forms and instructions are available here. The main changes to the forms and instructions were to condense forms and eliminate unnecessary information. More information on the type of eliminated information can be found in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

An informational webinar was held on March 6 for potential permit applicants and others in the regulated community to review the changes. A recording of that webinar is available here.

DEP has been working to reduce permit backlogs across the department through a variety of means, outlined in the Permitting Reform White Paper released in January. These reforms have included investments in technology, reassigning workloads across regional offices, and new technical guidance for permit reviews.
PUC ratifies Sunoco pipeline shutdown until sinkholes can be resolved
(Philadelphia Inquirer) The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursdayratified an emergency order authorized on March 7 halting operations onSunoco Pipeline's Mariner East 1 pipeline after sinkholes developed along the pipeline route in Chester County.

The PUC's unanimous vote, taken without discussion, orders Sunoco, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners LP, to suspend pipeline operations until additional testing and analysis can take place. The emergency order estimated the pipeline would stay out of service for about two weeks to around March 21.

Gladys M. Brown, the PUC's chair,grantedthe emergency order after PUC investigators said the sinkholes "could have catastrophic results" if not repaired. The 8-inch-diameter pipeline, which went into service in 1931 originally to transport motor fuel, now carries up to 70,000 barrelsa day of high-pressure volatile natural gas liquidssuch as propane from the Marcellus Shale gas region to a Sunoco terminal in Marcus Hook.

The order does not affect Sunoco's ongoing work to construct the larger Mariner East 2 pipeline adjacent to the first pipeline. That project has aroused strong opposition from residents and environmentalists.
PIOGA waste & water management training
The next opportunity to take part in PIOGA's Technical Seminar Series will come on April 26 when the Environmental Committee will offer training in management of water, wastewater and solids in both the conventional and unconventional oil and gas industry. The PIOGATech event takes place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Aquatech International Corporation offices in Canonsburg and is being held in conjunction with event partners Aquatech, Fluid Recovery Services,
Babst Calland and TD Connections.

Requirements for management of water and solid waste are changing in the oil and gas industry. Whether it is drill cuttings or produced water, all waste streams have approved and proven processes. Attend this PIOGATech and hear from oil and gas industry experts to learn about the techniques for management of water and waste from the well site. Obtain a comprehensive overview of industry protocols for documenting, transporting, treating, recycling, reusing, processing and disposing of wastes.

The class will cover the following topics:
  • Water management trends and industry practices
  • Water treatment and disposal technologies and services associated with oil and gas exploration and production
  • Current requirements and best management practices
  • Regulatory framework and legal review
  • Solid waste management
  • Operator panel
For the full agenda and registration, visit the event page. The registration deadline is April 20.


PIOGA PoWER Webinar - Letting Go of Control and Embracing Chaos

2018 PIOGATech Water & Waste Management Training


What type of planning and decision making is most effective in a world where we have very little control of outcomes? Join PIOGA's Power of Women in Energy Roundtable (PoWER) team for an insightful Lunch & Learn Webinar, "Letting Go of Control and Embracing Chaos," on Thursday, March 29 from 12 to 12:45 p.m. The presenter will be Jennifer Vieweg, corporate affairs manager at Greylock Energy and a PIOGA board member. There is no fee, but you must register by March 26. The event is open to PIOGA members only.


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