Pennsylvania DEP Releases First-Ever Oil and Gas Annual Report, Unveils Video Highlighting Work of Dedicated Oil and Gas Staff - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Pennsylvania DEP Releases First-Ever Oil and Gas Annual Report, Unveils Video Highlighting Work of Dedicated Oil and Gas Staff

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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced it has released the 2013 Oil and Gas Annual Report, along with a video highlighting the important work and professionalism of the dedicated members of DEP's Oil and Gas Program staff.

"Today I am proud to continue the department's commitment to open, transparent and accountable government with the release of the first-ever Oil and Gas Annual Report," Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo said. "This report illustrates the great progress we have made in protecting our environment through increased inspections, tougher regulations and improved oversight of this industry."

The 2013 Oil and Gas Annual Report was created to provide information and insight into how DEP's Oil and Gas Program is fulfilling the department's mission to protect Pennsylvania's air, land and water from pollution and to provide for the health and safety of Pennsylvania citizens. Highlighted in the report is information on program structure and processes, permitting, inspections, compliance and enforcement, regulatory and policy developments, and program innovations.

In September 2011, in order to adequately regulate and monitor the quickly growing industry, the Bureau of Oil and Gas Management was elevated to the Office of Oil and Gas Management, making it a deputate-level program for the first time in DEP history. Staffing was also significantly increased, with the program currently employing 202 individuals, 80 percent of whom are involved in engineering, scientific, permitting or inspection-related work.

DEP today also released video featuring real, unscripted clips of program staff sharing their personal experiences conducting the important work of the Oil and Gas Program across the state.

"The individuals working in Pennsylvania's Oil and Gas Program are highly trained, dedicated professionals who devote their time and energy to protecting our environment and making sure energy resources are extracted in a manner that is deserving of the public's trust," Abruzzo said.

"Our regulators are Pennsylvanians. They often live in the same communities in which they serve, and have a professional and personal stake in ensuring there is a beautiful, healthy Pennsylvania to pass down to our children and grandchildren. It is an honor to work with them on this important mission."

The video was funded by the Environmental Education Fund. Mandated by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, five percent of all pollution fines and penalties collected annually by DEP is set aside for environmental education.

To view the video and read the full report, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click on the "Oil and Gas Annual Report" button on the homepage.

Media contact: Morgan Wagner, 717-787-1323

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