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For Fayette County, PA, and SW PA


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PA Code

What Is It?: PA Code refers to the collection of Rules and Regulations established under PA Law. When the Pennsylvania General Assembly passes a law and the Governor signs it, the wording of the statute may not specify “everything”; for certain provisions the statute may instruct a department to create rules and regulations. When that is implemented the rules become part of PA Code and have the force of law.

“The rules” (at the state level) for what a company involved in extracting oil & gas in PA is allowed to do follow this hierarchy:

Statutes > PA Code > Permit [ > Lease/Easement Terms (possibly) ]

Why Does It Matter?: You may find yourself having “issues” with DEP or an oil & gas infrastructure company and want to know: Are they allowed to do ... ? PA Code is one place to look. Documents, like permits and PA Bulletin notices, include references to PA Code. You can get really valuable information by following those references to see what they’re talking about.

Where Can I Find It?:

Search Engine (e.g. Google): "PA Code"

URL: www.pacode.com/

A specific provision in PA Code is likely to be preceded by a number, like “25 PA Code”. To find this, browse PA Code to find Title 25, Environmental Protection. From there you may find what you are looking for by browsing, or find a specific section by Googling e.g. "121.1" site:pacode.com.

Do I Really Have to Read This Stuff?: Maybe, maybe not. If you are making a public comment or a complaint to DEP, they love to whip out the proverbial “... meets the requirements of PA Code ...” as a way of giving you the brush-off. The more familiar you are with PA code the more effective you can be in giving them something they really have to respond to. Here are a couple of goodies from PA Code:
“The presence in the outdoor atmosphere of any form of contaminant, including, but not limited to, the discharging from stacks, chimneys, openings, buildings, structures, open fires, vehicles, processes or any other source of any smoke, soot, fly ash, dust, cinders, dirt, noxious or obnoxious acids, fumes, oxides, gases, vapors, odors, toxic, hazardous or radioactive substances, waste or other matter in a place, manner or concentration inimical or which may be inimical to public health, safety or welfare or which is or may be injurious to human, plant or animal life or to property or which unreasonably interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property.”
“(d)  An operator electing to preserve its defenses under section 208(d)(1) of the act shall provide a copy of the results of the survey to the Department and the landowner or water purveyor within 10-business days of receipt of the results. Test results not received by the Department within 10 business days may not be used to preserve the operator’s defenses under section 208(d)(1) of the act.”


Disclaimer: This was not written by a lawyer, and should not be taken as legal advice.