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Governor vetoes bill that would halt new regulations during pandemic
(StateImpact Pennsylvania) Governor Tom Wolf last Tuesday vetoed a bill that would pause new regulations in Pennsylvania until after his COVID-19 disaster emergency declaration expires.
Under the measure sponsored by Sen. David Argall (R-Schuylkill), proposed regulations could not become final, and final rules could not be enacted, until 90 days after the declaration is ended by executive order or law.   
Mike Straub, spokesman for the House Republican Caucus, said pausing the regulatory process is necessary to give lawmakers and government agencies time to focus on the more pressing issue of COVID-19.  
In his veto message, Wolf said the prohibition would violate the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches, and would halt an essential government operation.
A pause on regulations was of particular concern to environmental groups who said it could effectively stop regulations beneficial to Pennsylvanians' health. Sixty-seven environmental, faith, and clean energy groups signed a letter opposing the bill.
David Masur, executive director of PennEnvironment, applauded Wolf's veto. He said the proposal would keep the Department of Environmental Protection from increasing fees for air pollution permits and stop proposals to set cleanup standards for PFAS contamination and air pollution standards for oil and gas operations.  
It could also put efforts to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative on hold. Republicans have been outspoken against the governor's executive order to participate in the cap-and-trade agreement among 10 northeastern states to cut emissions that contribute to climate change. Some recently sent a letter asking Wolf to rescind the order.
Note: Among the proposed oil and gas regulations that would have been impacted by the legislation are the CTG RACT rule below and the permit fee increase for unconventional wells mentioned in last week's PIOGA eWeekly
Proposed rule published covering emissions from existing oil and gas facilities
With publication in last Saturday's Pennsylvania Bulletin, the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) started the clock ticking on a 60-day comment period for proposed Department of Environmental Protection regulations covering emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from existing oil and gas operations.

Commonly known as the CTG RACT rule, the proposal covers existing storage vessels, natural gas driven pneumatic controllers and diaphragm pumps, compressors, fugitive emission components, covers and closed vent systems, and control devices. DEP says the rule will apply to 89,320 unconventional and conventional oil and natural gas wells, of which the DEP estimates that 8,403 unconventional and 71,229 conventional wells are currently in production. These facilities also include approximately 435 midstream compressor stations, 120 transmission compressor stations and 10 natural gas processing facilities.

The Air Quality/Emissions Subcommittee of PIOGA's Environmental Committee is combing through the proposal to develop formal comments ahead of the EQB's July 27 deadline. We also will publish an in-depth look at the proposed regulations in the June issue of The PIOGA Press
Ted Cranmer Memorial Golf Outing and Steak Fry moved to October
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and current restrictions on large gatherings, we must reschedule the Ted Cranmer Memorial Golf Outing and Steak Fry to Thursday, October 8. The event originally was set for June 1. It is our hope that things will have returned to something more like "normal" by October and that the beautiful autumn foliage will be on full display at Wanango Country Club in Reno.
If you already registered or sponsored, PIOGA staff will be in contact to inquire whether you want to keep your registration or prefer a refund.
This annual event is in honor of the long-time PIOGA and POGAM board member who died in 2016. The success of the Wanango outing was one of Ted's passions for 10 years, and the event raised thousands of dollars to benefit the association's mission. We are pleased to continue to honor Ted's legacy with this popular event and hope you still will come and enjoy a day of golf and camaraderie with the great folks in our industry.
Needless to say, the coronavirus crisis has been playing havoc with PIOGA event scheduling. Below is the current status of our events over the next several months. Please check the PIOGA Events section for the latest on all of 2020's events.
  • July 9, Promised Land Sporting Clays Club, Freeport. This event was rescheduled from early May, and we are hoping that restrictions on large gatherings have eased by the time the new date rolls around.
  • PIOGATech Training - Transportation Safety Regulations Compliance,July 21, The Chadwick, Wexford. Another event that was rescheduled from March, the training will cover Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration safety regulations compliance.
  • PIOGATech Training - Water & Waste Management, August 19, The Chadwick, Wexford. This is consistently our best-attended training of the year, and organizers from PIOGA's Environmental Committee already are hard at work on a stellar agenda.
    Do you have a water or waste management presentation you would like to share for this event? In particular, we are looking for best practices and technology updates. If interested, contact Teresa McCurdy for more information.
  • 23rd Annual Divot Diggers Golf Outing, August 20, Tam O'Shanter of Pennsylvania Golf Course, Hermitage. For over two decades, this popular golf outing has benefitted the work of the organization in the environmental arena. The day includes golf, an amazing number of prizes and a delicious steak dinner.
  • Fall Conference, Golf and Clay Shoot,
    September 22-23, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Champion. PIOGA's Spring Meeting in April had to be postponed, but our Program Committee is working to roll together the program from that event and our traditional fall conference into a must-attend meeting. As usual, there will be sporting clays and golf on Seven Springs' outstanding facilities, plus plenty of other fun networking opportunities.

Sustainable Energy Pathways Webinar - Part 3

PIOGA 2020 U.S. Energy & Employment Report Webinar

2020 Ted Cranmer Memorial Golf Outing & Steak Fry


PIOGA's COVID-19 Response Page. Be sure to pay frequent visits to the dedicated webpage we have created to help our members safely continue their essential operations during the current pandemic. We are updating this page several times a week with new information and resources for the oil and gas industry as well as for for small and mid-size businesses in general.
Does your company offer a product or service aimed at helping address the coronavirus situation? Please let us know so that we can add it to a new section we have created on the PIOGA COVID-19 Response page. To get to the list, use the link in the "Key information" section at the top of the page.

How to contact us. Our office is closed in compliance with directives to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, staff members are working from home to continue to provide all regular association services, as well as to help with industry response to the coronavirus pandemic. Please contact us via email or any of the phone numbers below:
PIOGA collectable. As part of PIOGA's celebration of 100 years of working together on behalf of Pennsylvania's crude oil and natural gas industry, we  commissioned a commemorative knife from W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company. The limited edition, collector quality knife and wooden display box feature PIOGA's 100th Anniversary logo. It's a great collector's piece and also makes a unique gift for coworkers, industry colleagues and petroleum history enthusiasts. Order yours now!