PIOGA and COVID-19 Response2020-04-03T19:19:44+00:00

PIOGA working remotely

Our Wexford and Harrisburg offices are 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:

This page is updated frequently to include information and resources to help keep Pennsylvania’s oil and natural gas industry safely operating so that we are able to continue providing our essential products during the coronavirus pandemic. Items are placed in chronological order, newest on top. A list of links and resources is at the very bottom of the page.

With the situation remaining fluid as state, federal and local governments act to attempt to stem the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and to manage health-care impacts, PIOGA is here to help keep our industry informed and to ensure that our members can continue to provide their essential services. As the item at right notes, PIOGA staff members are working remotely from home to continue to offer all routine association services as well as advise you on matters related to our industry and COVID-19.

Under Governor Tom Wolf’s directives regarding which businesses are considered life sustaining and may continue operating and which are considered non-life sustaining and must close, the oil and gas extraction category is deemed life sustaining and may continue working, including travel by employees associated with those activities. It is our understanding that all activities related to operating and maintaining both conventional and unconventional wells may continue.

Click here for the most recent list of life-sustaining and non-life-sustaining businesses (last updated 4/1/20, 4:00 p.m.)

We also understand that work on well sites is considered life-sustaining and therefore can continue, as long as the pad is built and drilling is or has taken place. Work on midstream facilities can continue for the same reason. Gathering, processing and transportation operations and maintenance activities are considered life sustaining and can continue. Any active construction projects still have to be maintained from an environmental and safety perspective. New construction work on pipelines is being halted, but we are told are pipelines companies are requesting waivers from the governor’s office.

If your business is currently considered non-life sustaining, a waiver process is available. PIOGA stands ready to assist you in any way possible in this process.

In addition to sending out emails as needed to all members as circumstances warrant, we will post all related information on this COVID-19 page on an ongoing basis. Bulk emails can often wind up in your junk folder, so please check regularly and make sure PIOGA is marked as a safe sender.


Posted Friday, April 3:

The following is an alert from PIOGA member Babst Calland.

PADEP Will Consider Requests to Temporarily Suspend Environmental Requirements Due to COVID-19

As businesses in Pennsylvania struggle to deal with significant disruptions and challenges to their operations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental agencies have recognized the challenges that the pandemic presents to achieving compliance with environmental obligations. For example, on March 26, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued a temporary policy for excusing COVID-19-related noncompliance (see Babst Calland’s March 30, 2020 Environmental Alert for further details). Similarly, on March 31, 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) issued an Alert announcing that it would consider requests to temporarily suspend certain regulatory, permit, and/or other legal requirements due to COVID-19. It also provided the form needed to make such a request. This announcement reflects a thought change from PADEP’s previous assertion that COVID-19’s impact on businesses in Pennsylvania would not excuse compliance with environmental laws, stating that “[a]ll permittees and operators are expected to meet all terms and conditions of their environmental permits, including conditions applicable to cessation of operations.”

What is Required to Request a Temporary Suspension?

Unlike USEPA’s temporary policy, which does not require regulated entities to submit documentation regarding an inability to meet routine compliance obligations, PADEP is requiring submittal of the request form. While PADEP did not elaborate on how it will review requests for suspension, it will generally evaluate (1) the reasons for the request in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and (2) the risk of harm to the environment or public health if the request is or is not granted.

Importantly, it will not be enough for entities to show that COVID-19 has restricted their ability to comply with regulatory, permit, or other legal requirements; entities must demonstrate that strict compliance would prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the COVID-19 emergency. This standard reflects the language of Governor Tom Wolf’s March 6, 2020 Proclamation of Disaster Emergency and 35 Pa. C.S. § 7301, which PADEP cited as authority for granting temporary suspensions.

The two-page request form asks 16 questions regarding topics including the following:

  • Alternate compliance options that have been explored;
  • Length of time the entity expects to be unable to comply and the necessary circumstances to return to compliance;
  • Extent of risk of additional pollution and/or how such increased pollution will be avoided;
  • Public health and safety benefits from granting the suspension; and
  • Negative consequences to the entity’s operations and the Commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 emergency if the suspension is not granted.

Some of the more interesting, and potentially controversial, questions asked by PADEP include the following:

  • Do you believe cost gouging or supply hoarding is negatively affecting your ability to comply?
  • Would you possess a unique advantage over your competitors, or others in the same industry, if a suspension is granted?

It is not clear whether PADEP will be receptive to entities requesting suspensions from settlement agreement requirements using the request form, or whether PADEP will expect entities to rely primarily on the force majeure provisions typically provided in those agreements. However, the request form does allow entities to request suspension of regulatory, permit, “or other requirement(s),” indicating that entities may be able to request suspension of settlement agreement requirements using this recently-introduced process.

When are suspensions expected to be granted?

PADEP has not announced its expected time frame for responding to the likely large number of requests for suspension. PADEP also did not explain how it will evaluate and balance the factors outlined in the request form. However, in multiple places the form emphasizes that the entity should provide detailed and specific responses. PADEP stated that suspensions will initially not be granted beyond June 30, 2020.

We note that this procedure only applies to requests for suspension of state regulatory or permit requirements and requirements under federal programs delegated to Pennsylvania. Entities seeking relief from federal requirements, under only federal authority, are to contact EPA Region III and consult USEPA’s March 26, 2020 policy.

Additional Guidance on Conducting Chapter 102 Earth Disturbance Activities

At the same time as providing the temporary suspension request form, PADEP also issued COVID-19-related guidance for permittees and operators conducting permitted earth disturbance activities under Chapter 102 of the Pennsylvania regulations. Entities that are considered “life-sustaining businesses” under Governor Wolf’s March 19, 2020 Order, which required all “non-life-sustaining businesses” to close their physical locations, may continue to conduct earth disturbance activities to the extent such activities are in support of the operation of the life-sustaining business. However, “non-life-sustaining businesses” must cease earth disturbance activities. Upon doing so, the entity must implement temporary or permanent stabilization measures as required by the permit and applicable regulatory requirements. Once required stabilization measures are implemented, the entity is relieved from requirements to perform weekly routine inspections, but still must conduct other inspections required by the permit, such as Post-Storm Event and Corrective Action inspections. PADEP stated that it considers such inspections to be critical operational functions and not in violation of the March 19th Order.


Posted Friday, April 3:

COVID-19 response from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

If your company has dealings with FERC, please be sure to read these two notices from April 2:


Posted Friday, April 3:

Federal resources for businesses and the self-employed

Here is a useful all-in-one page from U.S. Senator Bob Casey explaining federal resources available to small and mid-size businesses as well as the self-employed.


Posted Thursday, April 2:

Important notice: Friday, April 3, is the deadline to seek waivers for exemptions from the governor’s shutdown order

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, businesses have until 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3, to seek a waiver to Governor Wolf’s order requiring “non-life sustaining businesses” to close physical locations. Businesses that do not file their exemption by the deadline may lose the opportunity entirely.

The application can be found here on DCED’s website. A link to the most recent list of life-sustaining and non-life-sustaining businesses is found near the top of our page.


Posted Thursday, April 2:

EPA relaxes enforcement because of COVID-19, but state and local governments do most oversight for major federal laws

Key takeaways from this StateImpact Pennsylvania article:

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is developing guidance to evaluate requests from companies to waive permit conditions or other requirements when it is necessary for a response to the COVID-19 outbreak during the current emergency.
  •  DEP is not considering a blanket waiver policy.
  •  DEP is prioritizing field inspections of critical infrastructure and inspections that are critical to public health and safety.

Read the article


Posted Thursday, April 2:

Webinar – Understanding the CARES Act: Programs for Employers

Described as the most sweeping financial aid package ever passed by Congress, the CARES Act is packed with content, from paycheck protection loans that look too good to be true to robust unemployment expansions that will lead to a portion of the workforce earning more on unemployment than they earned while working. This recorded webinar from the law firm Pierce Atwood does an excellent job of concisely explaining the key provisions of the 800-plus-page law.


Posted Wednesday, April 1:

The following appeared yesterday on the Department of Environmental Protection’s alerts page (a good place to check for notices about office closings and other changes to the way DEP programs are operating).

COVID-19-Emergency Request to Temporarily Suspend Regulatory Requirements and/or Permit Conditions

In accordance with Governor Wolf’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency of March 6, 2020 and the Governor’s powers pursuant to the Emergency Management Code, 35 Pa.C.S. §7301, the Governor has authority to suspend regulatory obligations and other legal obligations within his jurisdiction where strict compliance will prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the COVID-19 emergency.

To request a temporary suspension of regulatory requirements and/or permit conditions, fill out this form and submit to RA-EPCOVID19SuspReq@pa.gov.

*If you are requesting suspension of a Federal requirement, under only Federal authority, please contact US EPA Region III and refer to the US EPA March 26, 2020 Memorandum (COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program). To the extent the request relates to a federal program delegated to Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania will review requests submitted in this format.


Posted Wednesday, April 1:

The following is from PIOGA member company Babst Calland, issued on March 30.

Update: Assessing your organization’s stimulus program options

Earlier today, the U.S. Treasury Department  published additional information on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP Loan), enacted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Below are critical points that the Department has clarified in the published guidance.

When can I apply?

  • Small businesses and sole proprietorships can begin submitting applications on Friday, April 3, 2020.
  • Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can begin submitting applications on Friday, April 10, 2020.

How much money can be borrowed?

The Department clarified that salary, wages, commissions, or tips are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.

How much of the loan is forgiven?

Due to likely high subscription, the Department anticipates that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.

What is the interest rate of the loan?

0.5% fixed rate.

Read the latest guidance information issued by the Department of Treasury below.

For a top-line overview of the program, click here.

If you’re a lender, more information can be found here.

If you’re a borrower, more information can be found here.

The application for borrowers can be found here.

For more information on the above program or for assistance in applying for the program, please contact Babst Calland Attorneys Moore Capito at 304.552.8986 or mcapito@babstcalland.com, Christian Farmakis at 412.394.5642 or cfarmakis@babstcalland.com or Andrew Terranova at 412.773.8717 or aterranova@babstcalland.com.


Posted Monday, March 30:

Information for employers regarding the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

FFCRA will help the United States combat and defeat COVID-19 by giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The legislation will ensure that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus while at the same time reimbursing businesses. Information about the act can be found here. Of particular note are:


Issued on March 30:

President Donald J. Trump Approves Pennsylvania Disaster Declaration

Read the notice


Posted Monday, March 30:

IPAA provides information about new Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act

The Independent Petroleum Association of America has provided important information about the newly enacted law that provides economic relief during the COVID-19 crisis. IPAA’s Barry Russell explains that the CARES Act opens a number of possible options to generate capital for oil and natural gas producers during this time of economic crisis. While details are intended to be finalized 10 days after its enactment, there is information being developed that provides some framework for understanding its elements.

Additional details will be evolving over the next few weeks. As they become available, IPAA will be sending more guidance.

Small Business Provisions
The CARES Act creates a number of small business provisions including the opportunity to obtain loans where a key purpose is to maintain payrolls. To the degree that these loans are used for specific payroll actions, the loan is converted to a grant. Specific details on how to obtain these loans will be forthcoming, but the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee’s minority office has developed an outline that can be accessed here. It is our understanding that these loans will be available through lenders that have been engaged in small business loans, but these details are not yet available.

Economic Stabilization Fund
This program is designed to distribute $500 billion to distressed businesses. Eligible businesses are those that are adversely affected by the Coronavirus, which would include the elements of oil and natural gas production industry since they would be severely harmed by demand destruction even if the Saudi-Russian conflict was not occurring. While a portion of the program is designated for certain industries, like the airline industry, most of it is broadly available. Following are some details that have been reported by analysts of the Act at Gibson Dunn.

The terms and conditions of the Assistance, including application procedures, loan eligibility requirements, and interest rates, will be published by the Secretary within 10 days of the enactment of the Act. The Act provides that the Assistance will be provided to businesses in exchange for a warranty, equity interest or senior debt instrument, and that the principal balance of any loan issued under the Act will not be forgiven.

The Secretary is given considerable discretion in determining the terms and conditions of the Assistance, subject to some general restrictions, which include, but are not limited to the following:
• Loans must be short-term (less than 5 years);
• Loans must be to U.S. domestic businesses with their primary operations and workforce located within the U.S.;
• Loans will be issued to businesses that incurred or expect to incur losses in the amounts that continued operation of the business is at jeopardy;
• Loans will be appropriately secured or include an appropriate interest rate;
• Loan terms will require the business to maintain employment levels (to the extent practicable, but not reduced by more than 10%) existing as of March 24, 2020 until September 30, 2020; and
• Loan terms will prohibit businesses from issuing dividends or buying stock of itself or of its parent during the term of the loan (and 12 months after termination).

Federal Reserve Programs or Facilities
Under the Act, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System are to establish programs or facilities for the purposes of “providing liquidity to the financial system that supports lending, eligible businesses, States, and municipalities.” The Act allocates $454 billion plus amounts not used under other provisions of this Act to achieve this purpose. The Act does not specifically identify entities that qualify for loans at this time, but we expect the Board of Governors to provide guidelines and application procedures under the programs or facilities it establishes.

The Act does, however, provide restrictions and conditions that eligible businesses must meet to receive loans under the Board of Governors’ programs or facilities, including the following:
• Businesses must be U.S. domestic businesses with their primary operations and workforce located within the U.S.;
• Businesses must agree to not repurchase their own equity securities, or the equity securities of a parent entity listed on the national stock exchange during the term of the loan and for 12 months following (unless contractually obligated prior to the date of this Act);
• Businesses must agree to not pay dividends or make capital distributions during the term of the loan and for 12 months following; and
• Businesses must comply with certain officer and employee compensation limitations as set forth in the Act.

The Act also includes assistance to mid-sized businesses, which include those businesses with between 500 and 10,000 employees. This provision is designed to provide financing to banks and lenders that can make direct loans to eligible mid-sized businesses. The direct loans are intended to have annual interest rates below 2% and the repayment of loans is to be deferred for six months, or longer as determined by the Secretary. Eligible Businesses seeking direct loans will have to make good faith certifications to their lender. These certifications will be similar to those required from Eligible Businesses seeking Assistance (as described above), including: restoration of the businesses’ workforce (i.e., employee numbers, compensation and benefits), bankruptcy proceedings, offshore jobs, and collective bargaining and union organizing efforts.

Tax Provisions
As previously described, the Act also contains tax changes that can be beneficial.

Net Operating Losses – The bill allows for a 5 year carry back. The effective date for this change means the change applies to tax years 2018, 2019, and 2020.
• The bill also made changes so that privately held companies could more effectively utilize this tax treatment.

Interest Deductibility – the cap was raised from allowing 30% of interest payments to be deducted in the year in which they occurred to 50%. The effective date for this change means it applies to both 2019 and 2020.


Posted Friday, March 27:

State office closings extended

The governor’s Office of Administration has notified state employees that paid office closings have been extended through Friday, April 3, for all non-essential employees whose offices are closed due to COVID-19. Additionally, employees who are reporting to work or are able to work remotely will continue to do so. We will provide any updates next week as additional guidance is provided regarding state office closures past April 3.


Posted Friday, March 27:

EPA announces enforcement discretion policy for COVID-19 pandemic

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on March 26 announced a temporary policy regarding its enforcement of environmental legal obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

EPA’s temporary enforcement discretion policy applies to civil violations during the COVID-19 outbreak. The policy addresses different categories of noncompliance differently. For example, under the policy EPA does not expect to seek penalties for noncompliance with routine monitoring and reporting obligations that are the result of the COVID-19 pandemic but does expect operators of public water systems to continue to ensure the safety of our drinking water supplies. The policy also describes the steps that regulated facilities should take to qualify for enforcement discretion.

The temporary policy makes it clear that EPA expects regulated facilities to comply with regulatory requirements, where reasonably practicable, and to return to compliance as quickly as possible. To be eligible for enforcement discretion, the policy also requires facilities to document decisions made to prevent or mitigate noncompliance and demonstrate how the noncompliance was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This policy does not provide leniency for intentional criminal violations of law. The policy does not apply to activities that are carried out under Superfund and RCRA Corrective Action enforcement instruments. EPA will address these matters in separate communications.

EPA’s policy will apply retroactively beginning on March 13, 2020. EPA will assess the continued need for and scope of this temporary policy on a regular basis and will update it if EPA determines modifications are necessary.

In order to provide fair and sufficient notice to the public, EPA will post a notification on the page linked below at least 7 days prior to terminating this temporary policy.

Click here for the EPA Policy on Enforcement during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Note: One PIOGA member drew particular attention to the footnotes on page 3 of the March 26 EPA memo that describes the policy in detail. The footnotes discuss specific types of compliance monitoring and reporting done by the industry.


Posted Thursday, March 26:

What’s happening with Pennsylvania’s state agencies?

The following is excerpted from an alert posted by the law firm Cozen O’Connor.

Public Utility Commission (PUC) — All offices of the PUC are currently closed, but employees are working remotely through at least March 27, 2020. All hearings have been cancelled through April 10, 2020, and no public input hearings are being scheduled at this time. The consumer hotline is still open but it has limited staff, resulting in longer than normal wait times. The PUC’s public meeting scheduled for March 26, 2020, will be held telephonically.

On March 13, 2020, PUC Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrielle signed an Emergency Order imposing a moratorium on terminations of electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, telecommunications, and steam service unless (a) the termination is required to ameliorate a safety emergency, or (b) the PUC determines that the termination is permissible. This moratorium took effect immediately and will remain in effect during the pendency of Governor Tom Wolf’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency (up to June 4, 2020, unless renewed by the governor).

In addition, on March 16, 2020, Chairman Brown Dutrielle signed an Emergency Order imposing a moratorium on all door-to-door, in person, and public event sales activities by agents of electric and natural gas suppliers. This moratorium applies to all customer classes, not just residential customers. It took effect immediately and will remain in effect during the pendency of Governor Wolf’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency.

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) — DEP has announced that in order to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus all DEP offices will remain closed for at least the 14 days beginning March 17. DEP staff that is able to do so are teleworking. This includes reviewing permits, responding to complaints and environmental emergencies, and other work.

Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) — The EHB has announced that due to the closing of the Pennsylvania state government offices to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, all offices of the EHB are closed until March 30, 2020. The EHB is continuing to operate remotely during this period. The EHB is encouraging the public to electronically file documents and, where possible, to refrain from mailing or faxing documents to the EHB’s Harrisburg office. Requests for extension or adjustments to scheduling may be filed with the EHB and will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Compacts

Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) — SRBC employees are working from home. A limited number of staff in the Harrisburg offices are processing mail and accepting deliveries. The offices are closed to visitors until further notice. They are monitoring emails and voicemails. They will respond, but delays are expected.

Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) — The DRBC remains operational, but its West Trenton, N.J., office building is closed and staff are working remotely, until further notice.


Updated Wednesday, March 25:

Identifying your employees as workers in a life-sustaining business

Given that there have been a few sporadic reports of employees of essential businesses having been stopped and questioned by law enforcement, oil and gas related companies should consider providing their workers with a letter to carry in case they are approached by anyone questioning why they are working. Companies may want to consider having their counsel review and modify the text as necessary. A Word document of the following template can be downloaded here.

[DATE]

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

Please be advised that [NAME OF EMPLOYEE] is an [employee/contractor] supporting the operations of [NAME OF COMPANY] and thus is engaged in a life-sustaining business as defined in the March 19, 2020, ORDER OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA REGARDING THE CLOSURE OF ALL BUSINESSES THAT ARE NOT LIFE SUSTAINING during the COVID-19 public health emergency. As a life sustaining business, the oil and natural gas operations of [NAME OF COMPANY] in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are authorized by the March 19 ORDER to continue physical operations, and the bearer of this letter is authorized to travel within the Commonwealth and to execute activities necessary for oil and gas operations.

You are also advised that energy workers and the energy sector supply chain are listed as Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers in the guidance document referenced in the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s March 19, 2020, letter.

If you have any questions concerning the matters addressed by this letter, please contact the undersigned at [PHONE NUMBER].

Very truly yours,

[NAME & TITLE OF RESPONSIBLE COMPANY OFFICIAL, such as General Counsel, President, Managing Partner, etc.]

The governor’s March 19 order referenced above is available here.

The CISA letter referenced in the letter template can be found here. In that document, the following are identified as Essential Critical Infrastructure workers:

Petroleum workers

  • Petroleum product storage, pipeline, marine transport, terminals, rail transport, road transport
  • Crude oil storage facilities, pipeline, and marine transport
  • Petroleum refinery facilities
  • Petroleum security operations center employees and workers who support emergency response services
  • Petroleum operations control rooms/centers
  • Petroleum drilling, extraction, production, processing, refining, terminal operations, transporting, and retail for use as end-use fuels or feedstocks for chemical manufacturing
  • Onshore and offshore operations for maintenance and emergency response
  • Retail fuel centers such as gas stations and truck stops, and the distribution systems that support them

Natural and propane gas workers

  • Natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines, including compressor stations
  • Underground storage of natural gas
  • Natural gas processing plants, and those that deal with natural gas liquids
  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities
  • Natural gas security operations center, natural gas operations dispatch and control rooms/centers natural gas emergency response and customer emergencies, including natural gas leak calls
  • Drilling, production, processing, refining, and transporting natural gas for use as end-use fuels, feedstocks for chemical manufacturing, or use in electricity generation
  • Propane gas dispatch and control rooms and emergency response and customer emergencies, including propane leak calls
  • Propane gas service maintenance and restoration, including call centers
  • Processing, refining, and transporting natural liquids, including propane gas, for use as end-use fuels or feedstocks for chemical manufacturing
  • Propane gas storage, transmission, and distribution centers

Posted Tuesday, March 24:

Federal government energy-related waivers

During energy emergencies, regulatory assistance (or a “waiver”) is often used to expedite restoration when the situation warrants. Temporarily waiving enforcement of certain safety, environmental, and statutory requirements, when appropriate, can accelerate response efforts, restoring power and moving fuel more quickly to affected citizens. The Department of Energy consolidated and verified resources from across the Federal Government to create this central location for common waivers and special permits used for energy response, to include background on the waiver or special permit, historical examples of past use, links to previously issued waivers, and an appropriate point of contact to request such waivers should the need arise.

Visit the Department of Energy’s Energy Waiver library.


Posted Tuesday, March 24:

Pennsylvania Governor: Oil & Natural Gas Industry is a “Life-Sustaining Business”

Energy In Depth blog post


Posted Monday, March 23:

Department of Labor information about the new paid leave act (Families First Coronavirus Response Act)

The IRS will issue guidance next week:  (1) for eligible employers who pay qualifying sick or child-care leave to retain an amount of the payroll taxes [federal income taxes, the employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes and the employer share of Social Security and Medicare taxes] equal to the amount of qualifying sick and child-care leave that they paid, rather than deposit them with the IRS; and (2) for employers to file requests for an accelerated payments from the IRS if there are not sufficient payroll taxes to cover the cost of qualified sick and child care leave paid.  The IRS expects to process these accelerated payment requests in two weeks or less.

Additional information here


Posted Friday, March 20:

Do you have questions for DEP about compliance in this time of COVID-19 uncertainty?

Due to the recent announcements that all Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection offices statewide will be closed until March 31 (and likely beyond), our members may be left with many questions about compliance and your operations going forward. The Deputy Secretary of the Office of Oil and Gas Management, Scott Perry, has requested that if a company has questions, PIOGA act as a clearinghouse for those questions and answers. We will work directly with DEP to get the answers for you in a timely manner.

Please email Dan Weaver your questions at dan@pioga.org so PIOGA can get answers from DEP. We will provide an FAQ document once it has been compiled.

Thank you for your assistance to provide the DEP with feedback so we all know how to continue on with our operations during these difficult times due to COVID-19.


Posted Monday, March 16:

Important update from PIOGA:  2020 Spring Meeting postponed

Click here to read this news post.


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