More than three years into the gas-drilling boom that’s produced thousands of new wells, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Pennsylvania are tussling over regulation of the Marcellus Shale, the vast underground rock formation that holds trillions of cubic feet of gas.
The state says EPA is meddling. EPA says it is doing its job.
The state’s top environmental regulator, Michael Krancer, says Pennsylvania doesn’t need federal intervention to help it protect the environment. He told Congress last fall that Pennsylvania has taken the lead on regulations for the burgeoning gas industry.
“There’s no question that EPA is overstepping,” Katherine Gresh, Krancer’s spokeswoman, told the AP. “DEP regulates these facilities and always has, and EPA has never before shown this degree of involvement.”
The American Petroleum Institute urged the Obama administration last week to rein in the 10 agencies it says are either reviewing, studying or proposing regulation of fracking.
“The fact is that there is a strong state regulatory system in place, and adding potentially redundant and duplicative federal regulation would be unnecessary, costly, and could stifle investment,” API Vice President Kyle Isakower said in a statement.
EPA says public health is its key focus and insists it is guided by sound science and the law.