Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny), majority chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, aired numerous grievances with the Department of Environmental Protection’s process in creating and considering draft regulations that pertain to surface activities of oil and gas drillers during Wednesday’s House Appropriations Committee budget hearing with the department.
Alanna Koll reports in The PLS Reporter:
"A revised draft of the regulations was presented by DEP Monday and are planned on being reviewed by the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board at a March 20th hearing.
“You’ve talked many times about integrity and transparency, and I’m a great fan of both,” he told Acting DEP Sec. John Quigley. “What I’ve seen in this case doesn’t exhibit either.”
"Not only did Rep. Maher fault the department for having the regulations considered in such a short period, but also for posing confusing and possibly outdated information and not disclosing the new members of the Technical Advisory Board who will be considering the regulations.
"He also questioned why neither the technical advisory board nor the Environmental Quality Board was involved in the creating of the draft regulations.
“These seem to me to be very great matters of concern,” he said. “I would urge you, as you go forward here and go forward with the other rulemakings that you’ll probably have, that there is better attention to the integrity and transparency.”
"Sec. Quigley defended the process, noting the department has even added an additional 30-day comment period following the upcoming hearing."