WEXFORD, Pa. (February 22) – The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA) today released its formal response to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (PADEP) 2021 Oil and Gas Annual Report and HB 2644 Lapsing Statement Report, issued December 29, 2022, which purport to provide an accurate snapshot of the conventional industry’s recent operations.

PIOGA President & Executive Director Daniel J. Weaver noted, “These reports fail to provide a complete or accurate picture of the industry, in part because they do not explain the realities behind PADEP’s numbers or include descriptions of the good work the conventional oil and gas industry has been conducting to address environmental issues collaboratively. Unfortunately, DEP skewed the information in the reports to meet a pre-determined conclusion regarding conventional producers who have been working diligently for decades in a number of small communities to develop the energy that those communities depend on.”

A summary of several key issues in PIOGA’s response is provided below. A link to the full text can be found here:

  • PIOGA and its members agree that the protection of the environment is a top priority, as evidenced by its participation in a wide range of education and training efforts, as members of the Pennsylvania Grade Crude  Development Advisory Council (CDAC), and in the development of regulations that are practical and consistent with law. These efforts include weekly and monthly communications to members, monthly meetings of PIOGA committees, quarterly training programs for members on key environmental, health and safety issues and best management practices, and the participation by industry officials (PIOGA, the Pennsylvania Grade Crude Oil Coalition and Pennsylvania Independent Petroleum Producers) on CDAC, volunteering hours of time in preparation and discussion of issues important to CDAC’s mission.
  • PIOGA agrees that regulatory compliance and the development of reasonable regulation is a goal that benefits the industry and the state, but takes significant issue with PADEP’s biased online accounting of compliance and enforcement statistics, which multiply single incidents by stacking regulatory citations and keeping “continuing” violations on the record for the duration of corrective action being taken, a fact PADEP specifically acknowledges on its website in two locations.
  • PADEP’s efforts to improve regulatory compliance are restricted entirely to heightened scrutiny and issuing more orders and penalties, even while concluding these actions haven’t improved past compliance rates, as these actions do not provide incentives for improvement. Entirely missing from PADEP’s intended efforts is its prior commitment that “All companies are to be treated fairly and equally by the Department” and its prior statement of its compliance effort objectives to “identify opportunities for and to provide technical and educational assistance to oil and gas operators and the public.” This commitment and stated objectives were abandoned in 2015 when PADEP revised its technical guidance document providing standards for resolving oil and gas violations.

“PIOGA and its members disagree strongly with PADEP’s claims that conventional operators have a ‘culture of non-compliance.’ PIOGA and the industry as a whole hope that PADEP will work with operators to continue to improve compliance and environmental stewardship through education, training, reasonable regulation and practical enforcement,” Weaver added. “That is our commitment to the environment, our employees, our service companies and the communities where we operate.” PADEP should demonstrate its commitment by fixing the compliance statistics inaccuracies created by the nature of its reporting practices and systems, which PADEP has acknowledged.”



Dan Weaver

(724) 814-7270


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