Englert quoted extensively in Law360 article on EPA gas drilling regulations
John P. Englert, a partner in the Energy, Environment and Utilities Department, was quoted in a Law360 article discussing the revised guidance to air quality plan approvals, which authorize the construction and temporary operation of emission sources prior to the obtaining of a more permanent operating permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The changes end a nearly 20-year-old practice of granting gas wells a blanket exemption from air quality planning.
Englert said that even though the DEP was selling the change as an exemption from state permitting requirements, the new guidance worked more as a means of regulating the industry. He added that companies would have to ensure that they were properly documenting their compliance efforts as their drilling projects got off the ground. Englert also sees these changes as “an opportunity for additional enforcement” and says there is “gray area.” He advises that having a plan approval from the state in hand would be valuable and prevent companies from having to worry about falling out of compliance with the exemption criteria. “The benefit to having the plan approval is it spells out what you have to do to build and operate your source until you’re covered under an operating permit,” he said.