MSC Challenges Specific, Costly Chapter 78a Regulatory Provisions

Pittsburgh, Pa. – David Spigelmyer, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), issued the following statement regarding the organization’s challenge today to a limited number of Chapter 78a provisions:

“Today, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) filed suit on behalf of its members and their employees challenging the validity of a limited number of specific provisions contained in the final Chapter 78a rulemaking. This approach, which we had hoped we would not have to pursue, was necessary to assert the legal rights of our members directly impacted by final rulemaking’s provisions, which conflict with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) statutory authority as well as Supreme Court precedent.

“Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry is governed by some of the nation’s most stringent laws and regulations, and our members continue to follow all relevant Pennsylvania and federal environmental statutes and regulations. Even with a record number of on-site inspections of unconventional oil and gas well sites, DEP’s own data illustrates that environmental compliance in the oil and gas industry has never been better.

“To be absolutely clear, the MSC and its members support fair, consistent, and clear regulation of the industry while protecting the environment and ensuring safety. However, certain provisions conflict with DEP’s legal authority granted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly while other provisions are vague and not clear how they will be implemented by the agency. In order to meet regulatory requirements, industry needs clear and unambiguous regulations that are consistent with the legislature’s intent. These shortcomings are immediately harmful to our industry because they affect our ability to conduct business and remain competitive.

“We continue to seek ways to work constructively with the DEP to address issues surrounding the implementation of the new regulations, but on a limited number of issues, it’s imperative that members seek legal redress to provide clarity and consistency.”

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