New PADEP Director and Revised General Permit

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New PADEP Director and Revised General Permit

PADEP Names Cosmo Servidio as New Southeast Regional Director

Longtime Director Joe Feola to Retire in July

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) Secretary Mike Krancer announced today that Cosmo Servidio, a businessman and former chief of staff to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA’s) Region II administrator, joined the agency on April 9 and will become the agency’s Southeast regional director when Joe Feola retires July 2.

“Cosmo has great experience in the public and private sectors and he brings a track record of creative problem solving of complex environmental regulatory and policy matters to us at PADEP,” Krancer said. “He is also very accomplished at working with all stakeholders in the process. We are delighted to welcome him to our team.”

Servidio will work closely with Feola for the next three months.

“Even before I came to PADEP, I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Joe for many years and he is terrific,” Krancer said. “He has been a tremendous asset to PADEP for many years at many levels.”

In addition to his work at USEPA, Servidio served in high-level roles with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and the administration of former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman. After his first stint in public service, he entered the private sector in government relations with State Street Partners, and he is now vice president of global insurance broker Willis Group Holdings North America in Morristown, NJ.

Feola has served the commonwealth for 43 years. He worked as regional director for 15 of his 41 years with PADEP and prior to that, worked for the Department of Health and the Liquor Control Board.

During Feola’s tenure as director, the region saw significant gains in protection of its waterways. Following a 2006 pollution incident caused by Merck and Co. that created a massive fish kill in the Wissahickon Creek, Feola directed $4.5 million in state settlement funds toward the protection of land within its highly urbanized watershed. That funding played a significant role in enabling the Whitemarsh Foundation to purchase approximately 100 acres of Erdenheim Farm in Montgomery County and prevent its development. Also under Feola’s direction, the region took part in cleaning up more than 1,400 brownfield sites, including contaminated riverfront properties in Bucks, Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties that were later developed. Former industrial sites along the Delaware River were given new lives as an industrial port complex in Falls Township; condos in Bristol; the Navy Yard and Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia; and a major-league soccer stadium in Chester. New Philadelphia Phillies’ and Eagles’ stadiums were also created from former brownfields under Feola’s leadership.

The director of PADEP’s Southeast region manages the Waste Management, Air Quality, Radiation Protection, Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields Development, Clean Water, Safe Drinking Water, Waterways and Wetlands and Emergency Response programs for Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

PADEP Issues Revised General Permit for Gas Wastewater Processing Facilities

The PADEP announced the publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin of a revised general permit for the processing and beneficial use of liquid waste from oil and gas well sites.

“This permit encourages recycling of wastewater by providing regulatory clarity, consistency and predictability,” said PADEP Secretary Mike Krancer. “This permit replaces three existing general permits, which will improve efficiency and better protect our waterways.”

The revised Residual Waste Beneficial Use general permit (WMGR123) encourages using the closed-loop process, which is the reuse of liquid waste after it has been treated or processed. In this case, the liquid waste includes brine, flowback water, drilling muds and stormwater.

The permit applies to oil and gas sites and other related infrastructure. This kind of reuse minimizes water withdrawals and impacts on Pennsylvania’s valuable water resources.

The revised permit consolidates into one — and renders redundant — three existing general permits, WMGR119, WMGR121 and WMGR123.

The revised permit also establishes water quality criteria that, if met, allow the processed water to be managed, stored and transported as freshwater. Facilities will test regularly for 39 constituents, including strontium, barium, total dissolved solids and radiation, in order to demonstrate that the processed wastewater meets the freshwater criteria. The criteria are based on drinking water standards and in-stream water quality standards. The permit specifies that the processed wastewater may only be used to develop or hydraulically fracture an oil or gas well.

Wastewater that does not meet the freshwater criteria must continue to be managed, stored and transported as residual waste, a classification of industrial waste. Storage of such waste must take place in tanks or impoundment pits that use liners, leak detection monitoring and other measures to contain any spills, leaks or overflows.

There are 10 facilities operating under the prior general permits for processing and beneficially using oil and gas wastewater. These facilities will continue to operate under the new permit. Ten additional facilities have pending permit applications with PADEP.

The agency published a draft version of this permit for public comment in August 2011. The revised permit was developed after considering approximately 80 comments submitted in response.

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