On Wednesday the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a confirmation hearing on the nomination of Acting Secretary John Hanger. During the hearing, there was discussion concerning the Marcellus Shale. Senator Lisa Baker (Luzerne) asked about
the recent proposed plan to review the plans and inspect the sites and noted that the Conservation Districts have been seemingly cut out of the process.
Acting Secretary Hanger responded that DEP can accomplish this and that they have been working and will continue to work with the Conservation Districts. Senator Baker then asked if the Department has considered an online permitting process. Acting Secretary Hanger responded that it was mentioned to him recently but he has not looked into it yet. Senator Baker then commented on the Governor’s proposed budget cuts to the Susquehanna River and Delaware River Basin Commissions asking if this is wise given the increasing activity. Acting Secretary Hanger said he anticipated an adjustment in the budget. Senator Baker commented on the use of the rulemaking process for the treatment of water in lieu of the legislative process. Acting Secretary Hanger noted that the rulemaking process does include legislative input and he believes that the proposed rule will protect the water and that the industry understands it.