Corbett Lifts Ban on Natural Gas Drilling in State Forests

Policy implemented by Rendell administration nixed

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has held true to his promise to lift a 4-month ban on natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania state forests by rescinding a document entitled ‘Policy for the Evaluation of Impacts of Oil and Gas Development on State Parks and State Forests‘.

The Pittsburgh Business Times reports today that the document has been rescinded and erased from the Department of Environmental Protection website.

The document, which went into effect last October at the hand of the Rendell administration, effectively put a moratorium on gas drilling. It required operators wanting to drill on public land to obtain an assessment of environmental impacts from the Department of Conservation and National Resources (DCNR) before an application process with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The application process allowed the DCNR to scrutinize the proposed drilling activity, in considering: “threatened and endangered species habitat; wildlife corridors; water resources; scenic viewsheds; public recreation areas; wetlands and floodplains; high-value trees and regeneration areas; avoiding steep slopes; pathways for invasive species; air quality; noise; and road placement and construction methods.”

As a result of the above criteria, in combination with an earlier DCNR study which stated “no additional leasing involving surface disturbance can occur without significantly altering the ecological integrity and wild character of our state forest system,” further natural gas drilling on state land was halted.

The DEP justified the rescission in stating,

This document, which was not subject to advanced public comment or review, is being rescinded as unnecessary and redundant of existing practice. The Department is implementing Section 205(c) and will continue to do so. The Department will continue to consider the input of all applicable parties with respect to public resources outlined in Section 205(c).”


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2 Comments

  1. anonomiss says:

    pathetic the cover ups pay offs well there goes our beautiful mountains to the gas drillin murderers now watch howmuch they kill off and pollute with toxins so sad one day potter county will be one huge toxic waste and thgas goes to china what a big crooked deal

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  1. Corbett Lifts Ban on Natural Gas Drilling in State Forests | Coudy ……

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

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