Governor Wolf Announces Launch of Oil and Gas Electronic Submissions Review for Accelerated Public Access

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has launched the e-submissions public review tool to make documents submitted electronically by unconventional oil and gas operators more quickly available to the public.

“Electronic document submission improves the process for all involved, reducing redundancy and the potential for errors and, importantly, making information about unconventional well sites more quickly available to citizens,” said Governor Wolf.

DEP’s Chapter 78A oil and gas regulations, implemented in October 2016, require unconventional operators to file electronically many documents they previously submitted in paper form.

“Electronic oil and gas document submission is a critical step in making DEP permitting and monitoring more efficient and transparent,” said DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

To date, 26 operators have electronically filed almost 900 documents.

The e-submissions public review tool enables citizens to search for documents by various parameters, for example, seeing the documents for a specific well site or for all wells run by one operator in a particular county or the state.

The following documents are available:

  • Borrow pit registration;
  • Well development impoundment registration;
  • Area of review summary report–specifying results of the operator’s survey of the area for existing wells of any kind;
  • Request for alternate waste management practice;
  • Request for previously approved alternate waste management practice;
  • Due diligence extension request;
  • Well records–including when the operator drilled, the casing materials and hardware used, the depth, and the geologic formations;
  • Well completion report;
  • Underground/partially buried storage tanks registration;
  • Well site restoration period extension request;
  • Postdrilling site restoration report; and
  • Postplugging site restoration report.

The oil and gas operator e-submissions public review tool is part of a major campaign to modernize technology at DEP that began in January 2016. Partnering with programs, other state agencies, and the regulated community, the DEP Bureau of Information Technology is developing dozens of new electronic tools—most recently an iPad app for oil and gas site inspections and electronic permit application for coal mining—to increase the department’s efficiency and transparency.