The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) this week released its 2018 Oil and Gas Annual Report. The interactive, multimedia report details increased efficiency in the permit application and review process as well as site inspections in 2018.
The report notes that Pennsylvania DEP personnel completed 36,873 compliance inspections at conventional and unconventional well sites last year, about 585 more than in 2017. The surface activities inspection process moved to tablet computers, making it more efficient and transmitting results to operators and the public faster.
The year also brought advancements in permitting. Pennsylvania DEP launched an updated Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit in electronic format and provided extensive training to industry on both the new requirements and the electronic application. This surface-activities permit is the second permit to go online, following the subsurface well-drilling e-permit, which rolled out in 2017. Electronic permit applications eliminate Pennsylvania DEP data entry, ensure that applications are complete when submitted, and enable operators to pay permit fees online.
Pennsylvania DEP also streamlined its internal oil and gas permit review structure statewide.