DEP Plans New Oil and Gas Office in Scranton to Improve Regional Oversight, Response Capabilities

February 3, 2010

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger today announced plans to open a new Oil and Gas Management office in Scranton, Lackawanna County, to improve the agency’s ability to oversee and respond to issues stemming from increased natural gas drilling throughout the region.

“Right now, our oil and gas staff spends a great deal of time traveling to Marcellus Shale drilling sites all across the northern tier,” said Hanger. “By establishing a new office, as well as positioning new oil and gas staff in the region, we’ll spend less time on the road and more time on the ground performing inspections and monitoring activities at drilling sites.”

The exact location of the office has not yet been determined, but will be centrally located to provide the department with easier access to the hundreds of natural gas wells that are expected to be drilled in the region.

On Jan. 28, Governor Edward G. Rendell announced that DEP will hire 68 permitting and inspection staff, including 10 for the new Scranton office, in response to expectations that the industry will apply for 5,200 new Marcellus Shale drilling permits in 2010 — nearly three times the number of permits issued during 2009.

The additional staff will make sure drilling companies obey state laws and act responsibly to protect water supplies. The Governor also announced at the time that DEP will strengthen oil and gas regulations to improve well construction standards. These critical upgrades are designed to prevent gas leaks that can pose risks to the public and water quality.

Information regarding the new Oil and Gas positions can be found by visiting www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Employment.

Media contact: Tom Rathbun, 717-787-1323

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Source: newswire

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