Ban on Hydraulic Fracturing in Bucks, Montgomery, and Berks Counties.
On Friday, June 29th, section 1607-E (1607-E) was added to the 2012 Pennsylvania Budget Bill (SB 1263). 1607-E created a temporary drilling moratorium in the portion of South Newark Basin which lies in southeastern Pennsylvania. The new section was added to the budget bill because, “the unique geological and geochemical characteristics of the South Newark Basin…have not been adequately evaluated.” As a result of 1607-E, the Department of Environmental Protection will be prohibited from issuing well permits for oil and gas operations until the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has completed a study that will evaluate the practical implications and financial impacts for the area if drilling did occur. Pending further legislation, if the evaluation shows no significant harm or nothing is decided before the temporary drilling moratorium expires on January 1, 2018, the ban will be lifted.
Written by Joseph Negaard, Research Assistant July 3, 2012