Last month Pennsylvania legislation passed, which sets new comprehensive rules for hydraulic fracturing activity in the state. The rules are strict and cites the need for statewide uniformity to ensure the most efficient development of oil and gas resources and consistent environmental protections for all residents. The legislation decided that all local ordinances must allow for reasonable development of oil and gas resources to be consistent with the new legislation – Including local zoning rules.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) announced the plans to revise permits requiring recycling and re-use of hydraulic fracturing water. The fracing wastewater is to be treated and recycled to other fracing wells. The goal is to reduce both fresh water withdrawals and wastewater disposals
Water can be treated on-site in a “closed loop” process, or sent to one of the ten companies in the keystone state that are authorized to treat fracing wastewater. The recycling obligations will drive up the cost per well in the short term.
Pennsylvania has an opportunity to take advantage of the rich economic opportunity and environmental innovation. Not only does Pennsylvania have an abundance of natural gas, but natural gas produces about half the carbon emissions as coal.