American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 31

Setting Limits
Responding to a methane control plan
announced by Governor Wolf earlier in
the year, state Senator Guy Reschenthaler,
R-Pittsburgh, introduced legislation in
June that would prohibit the state from
enacting emission control rules that were
more strict than those of the federal government.
Wolf said he was seeking to regulate
methane emissions because, "as the second-largest producer of natural gas in
the nation behind Texas, Pennsylvania is
uniquely positioned to be a national leader
in addressing climate change while supporting and ensuring responsible energy
development."
SB 1327 would "ensure regulation of
methane emissions in Pennsylvania is
consistent with those standards adopted
by the EPA," according to the senator.
Reschenthaler says the bill seeks to
avoid a "duplicative, confusing and costly
patchwork of standards." SB 1337 was
referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and had
seen no activity through mid-August.
In the meantime, the Pennsylvania
DEP began gathering information on
methane emissions at oil and gas sites,
Moody reports, adding the process includes
surveying operators.
The DEP sent a questionnaire to Pennsylvania operators in April, he says. The
survey asked questions ranging from how
many and what kinds of wells were operated, to types of production facilities
and operator best practices for managing
emissions were utilized, including leak
detection and repair, and optical gas imaging.
"We are compiling the responses we
have received from our members, and
requested a meeting with DEP staff to
ask what they intend to do with the
results," Moody reveals. "The whole thing
goes further than the feds.
"Given what happened with the Chapter

78 rules, this issue could turn into a real
dogfight in the legislature," Moody predicts.
In the meantime, a study of possible
health effects from emissions near gas
compression and processing facilities in
southwestern Pennsylvania that was
launched in 2012 and scheduled to be
finished in one year, remained in bureaucratic limbo this summer, according to
published reports.
While air sampling activities were
completed in 2014, test results have been
withheld because of a change in administrations, questions about methodology,

and a lack of resources, the Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette reported in July.
Intended to examine the effects of
long-term exposure to natural gas emissions from industrial facilities, the study,
which was referred to the state Department
of Health, could be released this fall, according to a department spokesman. ❒

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to enact "a comprehensive plan" to regulate
the state's emissions of carbon dioxide
and other greenhouse gases.
The suit, Funk et. al. v. Gov. Tom
Wolf, was brought under the state's Environmental Rights Amendment, and contends the Pennsylvania government was
"failing to fulfill (its) constitutional obligation by failing to adequately regulate
CO2 emissions."
In dismissing the lawsuit, the Commonwealth Court ruled that decisions regarding whether regulations ought to be
promulgated or executive orders issued
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Cover1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Cover2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - 4
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American Oil and Gas Reporter - September 2016 - Cover3
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