PADEP Final Oil and Gas Spill Policy

Michelle Montague - Tuesday, January 22, 2013

FINALIZED September 21, 2013

Addressing Spills and Releases at Oil & Gas Well Sites in Pennsylvania

This policy was developed to facilitate a consistent and uniform general response by those working in and for the oil and gas industry to respond to spills and releases at oil and gas well sites.

What Requires Reporting?

  • Releases can include brine, drilling mud, frac fluid, hydraulic fluid, petroleum hydrocarbons, chemical additives, or condensate.
  • A spill or release causing or threatening pollution of the waters of the Commonwealth must be reported to PADEP.

- More than 5 gallons of brine within a 24 hour period with Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) concentration of the brine is equal tor greater than >10,000 mg/L, or

- More than 15 gallons of brine within a 24 hour period on  or into the ground  at the well site where TDS with TDS concentration of the brine is < 10,000 mg/L.

- Small spills of less than 42 gallons that do not pollute waters of the Commonwealth at a well site can be remediated quickly.

  • Due to uncertainty and difficulty determining the quantity of a release, PADEP recommends that the responsible party report  a spill or release more that five gallons of a pollutional substance to the surface of the ground over 24 hr. to the PADEP as soon as practicable, but no later than two hours after detecting or discovering the release.

- 2hr notification by telephone to PADEP regional office.

  • Remediation of a spill or release at an oil & gas well site must either go through Act 2 or an Alternative Process.

  • For remediation purposes not all regulated substances have published Statewide health standards.

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