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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 21-1386



Availability of Technical Guidance

[51 Pa.B. 5494]
[Saturday, August 28, 2021]

 Technical guidance documents (TGD) are available on the Department of Environmental Protection's (Department) web site at The ''Technical Guidance Final Documents'' heading is the link to a menu of the various Department bureaus where each bureau's final TGDs are posted. The ''Technical Guidance Draft Documents'' heading is the link to the Department's draft TGDs.

Ordering Paper Copies of Department Technical Guidance

 The Department encourages the use of the Internet to view and download TGDs. When this option is not available, persons can order a paper copy of any of the Department's draft or final TGDs by contacting the Department at (717) 783-8727.

 In addition, bound copies of some of the Department's documents are available as Department publications. Check with the appropriate bureau for more information about the availability of a particular document as a publication.

Changes to TGDs

 Following is the current list of recent changes. Persons who have questions or comments about a particular document should contact the person whose name and phone number are listed with each document.

Draft TGD

DEP ID: 800-2100-001. Title: Prioritized Review Process Under the Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit for Earth Disturbance Associated with Oil and Gas Exploration, Production, Processing, or Treatment Operations or Transmission Facilities (ESCGP). Description: This draft TGD establishes a Prioritized Review Process for certain authorizations approved by the Department's Office of Oil and Gas Management (OOGM). The Prioritized Review Process contained in this draft technical guidance seeks to encourage persons preparing Notices of Intent (NOI) for Authorizations of Coverage under the Erosion and Sediment Control General Permit issued by OOGM to voluntarily develop and implement superior environmental enhancements to proposed projects by providing priority status in the NOI review process to qualifying applicants.

Written Comments: Interested persons may submit written comments on this draft TGD through Monday, September 27, 2021. Comments, including comments submitted by e-mail must include the commentator's name and address. Commentators must submit comments using the Department's online eComment for Policies at or by e-mail to Written comments can be mailed to the Technical Guidance Coordinator, Department of Environmental Protection, Policy Office, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063.

Contact: Questions regarding this TGD can be directed to Kurt Klapkowski at or (717) 772-2199.

Effective Date: Upon publication of notice as final in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Final TGD

DEP ID: 800-0810-004. Title: Guidelines for Chain Pillar Development and Longwall Mining Adjacent to Unconventional Wells. Description: The Department developed this guidance to inform those engaged in longwall coal mining and unconventional natural gas production how to comply with existing statutory and regulatory requirements. These guidelines facilitate appropriate unconventional well inactivation and re-entry procedures in advance of and subsequent to longwall panel removal that will allow for continuous isolation of gas from workable coal seams, protection of mining personnel and prevention of pollution of the waters of this Commonwealth, consistent with applicable law.

 These guidelines were published as an interim final TGD at 47 Pa.B. 7645 (December 16, 2017), with a 30-day public comment period. During the comment period, the Department received approximately 27 comments from 2 commentators. The Department also collaborated with the Oil and Gas Technical Advisory Board and its Industry-Agency Coal-Gas Workgroup in developing this final guidance. Additionally, the Department has been implementing the interim final TGD since 2017 and has incorporated changes to the final TGD based on that field experience. In response to the comments received and field experience, several editorial and substantive changes were made to the final guidance document:

 • Clarified the recommended number of wells to be designated for logging on multiwell pads with total well counts in excess of 10.

 • Inserted ''monthly averages'' as a modifier of production histories to indicate that surface-measured pressures and flow rates can be provided as monthly averages.

 • Introduced a risk assessment process for addressing partially cemented production strings in advance of mining.

 • Clarified that all wells on a pad being managed under the process in the guidelines must be pressure tested.

 • Clarified that wells that are permanently decommissioned in advance of mining must have a functioning vent, if not plugged to mine-through standards.

 • Added test borehole programs allowing for the collection of subsidence and deformation data in advance of mining by an unconventional gas well that might inform the development of proposals that deviate from the Department Model Plan outlined in the TGD.

 • Updated plugging schematics to reference current conventions for plugging a well solid (plugging to mine-through standards), as dictated by the Department's Bureau of Mine Safety and the United States Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Contact: Questions regarding this TGD can be directed to Seth Pelepko at or (717) 772-0220.

Effective Date: August 28, 2021


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 21-1386. Filed for public inspection August 27, 2021, 9:00 a.m.]

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