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DEP approved stream setback waivers for drillers

January 20, 2014 - Ben Klein
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says it has never denied a request by a Marcellus shale gas driller to circumvent the stream setback regulations in a recent law.

StateImpact, a collaboration between radio stations WITF and WHYY, reports Friday that the State Supreme Court struck down the setback aspect of the law known as Act 13 because it was so easy for companies to bypass the rules.

But Scott Perry from DEP's office of Oil and Gas Management says they've been able to work cooperatively with companies to protect waterways. Perry believes Act 13 gave the DEP the ability to enforce the setbacks and deny waivers when appropriate.

The Act 13 setbacks required unconventional gas wells to be at least 300 feet from streams and wetlands.


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