Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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25 Pa. Code § 78a.15. Application requirements.

§ 78a.15. Application requirements.

 (a)  An application for a well permit shall be submitted electronically to the Department on forms provided through its web site and contain the information required by the Department to evaluate the application.

 (b)  The permit application will not be considered complete until the applicant submits a complete and accurate plat, an approvable bond or other means of complying with Subchapter G (relating to bonding requirements) and section 3225 of the act (relating to bonding), the fee in compliance with §  78a.19 (relating to permit application fee schedule), proof of the notifications required under section 3211(b.1) of the act (relating to well permits), necessary requests for variance or waivers or other documents required to be furnished by law or the Department and the information in subsections (b.1), (b.2), (c)—(f) and (h). The person named in the permit shall be the same person named in the bond or other security.

 (b.1)  If the proposed limit of disturbance of the well site is within 100 feet measured horizontally from any watercourse or any high quality or exceptional value body of water or any wetland 1 acre or greater in size, the applicant shall demonstrate that the well site location will protect those watercourses or bodies of water. The applicant may rely upon other plans developed under this chapter or approved by the Department to make this demonstration, including:

   (1)  An erosion and sediment control plan or permit consistent with Chapter 102 (relating to erosion and sediment control).

   (2)  A water obstruction and encroachment permit issued under Chapter 105 (relating to dam safety and waterway management).

   (3)  Applicable portions of the PPC plan prepared in accordance with §  78a.55(a) and (b) (relating to control and disposal planning; emergency response for unconventional wells).

   (4)  Applicable portions of the emergency response plan prepared in accordance with §  78a.55(i).

   (5)  Applicable portions of the site containment plan prepared in accordance with section 3218.2 of the act (relating to containment for unconventional wells).

 (b.2)  For purposes of compliance with section 3215(a) of the act (relating to well location restrictions), an abandoned water well does not constitute a water well.

 (c)  The applicant shall submit information identifying parent and subsidiary business corporations operating in this Commonwealth with the first application submitted after October 8, 2016, and provide any changes to this information with each subsequent application.

 (d)  The well permit application must include a detailed analysis of the impact of the well, well site and access road on threatened and endangered species. This analysis must include:

   (1)  A PNDI receipt.

   (2)  If any potential impact is identified in the PNDI receipt to threatened or endangered species, demonstration of how the impact will be avoided or minimized and mitigated in accordance with State and Federal laws pertaining to the protection of threatened or endangered species and critical habitat. The applicant shall provide written documentation to the Department supporting this demonstration, including any avoidance/mitigation plan, clearance letter, determination or other correspondence resolving the potential species impact with the applicable public resource agency.

 (e)  If an applicant seeks to locate a well on an existing well site where the applicant has obtained a permit under §  102.5 (relating to permit requirements) and complied with §  102.6(a)(2) (relating to permit applications and fees), the applicant may comply with subsections (b.1) and (d) if the permit was obtained within 2 years from the receipt of the application submitted under this section.

 (f)  An applicant proposing to drill a well at a location that may impact a public resource as provided in paragraph (1) shall notify the applicable public resource agency, if any, in accordance with paragraph (2). The applicant shall also provide the information in paragraph (3) to the Department in the well permit application.

   (1)  This subsection applies if the proposed limit of disturbance of the well site is located:

     (i)   In or within 200 feet of a publicly owned park, forest, game land or wildlife area.

     (ii)   In or within the corridor of a State or National scenic river.

     (iii)   Within 200 feet of a National natural landmark.

     (iv)   In a location that will impact other critical communities.

     (v)   Within 200 feet of a historical or archeological site listed on the Federal or State list of historic places.

     (vi)   Within 200 feet of common areas on a school’s property or a playground.

     (vii)   Within zones 1 or 2 of a wellhead protection area as part of a wellhead protection program approved under §  109.713 (relating to wellhead protection program).

     (viii)   Within 1,000 feet of a water well, surface water intake, reservoir or other water supply extraction point used by a water purveyor.

   (2)  The applicant shall notify the public resource agency responsible for managing the public resource identified in paragraph (1), if any. The applicant shall forward by certified mail a copy of the plat identifying the proposed limit of disturbance of the well site and information in paragraph (3) to the public resource agency at least 30 days prior to submitting its well permit application to the Department. The applicant shall submit proof of notification with the well permit application. From the date of notification, the public resource agency has 30 days to provide written comments to the Department and the applicant on the functions and uses of the public resource and the measures, if any, that the public resource agency recommends the Department consider to avoid, minimize or otherwise mitigate probable harmful impacts to the public resource where the well, well site and access road is located. The applicant may provide a response to the Department to the comments.

   (3)  The applicant shall include the following information in the well permit application on forms provided by the Department:

     (i)   An identification of the public resource.

     (ii)   A description of the functions and uses of the public resource.

     (iii)   A description of the measures proposed to be taken to avoid, minimize or otherwise mitigate impacts, if any.

   (4)  The information required under paragraph (3) shall be limited to the discrete area of the public resource that may be affected by the well, well site and access road.

 (g)  The Department will consider the following prior to conditioning a well permit based on impacts to public resources:

   (1)  Compliance with all applicable statutes and regulations.

   (2)  The proposed measures to avoid, minimize or otherwise mitigate the impacts to public resources.

   (3)  Other measures necessary to protect against a probable harmful impact to the functions and uses of the public resource.

   (4)  The comments and recommendations submitted by public resource agencies, if any, and the applicant’s response, if any.

   (5)  The optimal development of the gas resources and the property rights of gas owners.

 (h)  An applicant proposing to drill a well that involves 1 acre to less than 5 acres of earth disturbance over the life of the project and is located in a watershed that has a designated or existing use of high quality or exceptional value under Chapter 93 (relating to water quality standards) shall submit an erosion and sediment control plan consistent with Chapter 102 with the well permit application for review and approval and shall conduct the earth disturbance in accordance with the approved erosion and sediment control plan.

Cross References

   This section cited in 25 Pa. Code §  78a.1 (relating to definitions).



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