This article discusses regulation changes in Pennsylvania to limit the amount of methane that escapes into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, these new rules apply only to new wells.
Pennsylvania has joined a growing number of states in issuing new methane requirements for natural gas wells.
On Thursday, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection said it has finalized permits for new natural gas wells and processing facilities.
“We are uniquely positioned to be a national leader in addressing climate change while supporting and ensuring responsible energy development, while protecting public health and our environment,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a news release.
Pennsylvania joins states like Ohio and Colorado, which already have methane requirements for the oil and gas industry. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, and is the main component of natural gas. The oil and gas industry is the largest source of methane in the U.S.
The permits apply to new and modified wells and related compressor stations. The number of new wells drilled in Pennsylvania fluctuates every year, but is generally between 500 and 1,000. DEP records show the gas industry drilled 809 unconventional gas wells in 2017.