DEP hopes new drilling rules will help find, cap abandoned wells

October 1, 2014

State environmental regulators hope new oil and gas drilling rules aimed at modern shale drilling will help them find and cap more of the 200,000 old and abandoned wells that dot the countryside.

The proposed regulations for drilling, which Act 13 of 2012 ordered and the state Department of Environmental Protection is writing, include rules that direct drillers to locate and monitor any legacy wells they encounter during surveys or hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Based on comments on the proposal, the DEP is considering a clearer requirement that drillers report such discoveries to the agency, officials said Thursday during a meeting of its Technical Advisory Board.

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