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Company overcomes obstacles in getting construction permit

7/6/2011 | Construction Blog, Real Estate Blog

When a company wants to tap into natural resources in the state of Pennsylvania, the company often finds itself dealing with a host of complex laws and regulations that they must comply with. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has a lot of input when it comes to developing natural resources, and businesses that want to build facilities such as oil wells, gas wells, pipelines and power plants will need to comply with the DEP’s rules. Failure to comply with these rules can result in severe penalties for businesses and business owners alike.

Environmental compliance is no easy task. Becoming an expert in environmental statutes and regulations takes years of education and years of experience. Business owners are simply too busy running their businesses to become experts in the laws and regulations governing the use of natural resources. Thankfully, business owners can turn to experienced real estate development and construction attorneys who can get the paperwork moving with the government.

Recently, a Pennsylvania gas drilling company ran into problems with the DEP regarding a water intake system it wanted to build on Pine Creek in Watson Township. Pennsylvania General Energy originally received a permit in December to build a temporary dam at the site to keep water out of the excavation site.

However, the dam was washed away during thunderstorms in May. To make matters worse, the DEP issued a violation notice because the dam was allegedly not built according to the December permit. In addition, the company was cited for sediment discharges into the creek.

Although the DEP has not made a decision about a punishment for past violations, the agency gave Pennsylvania General Energy the go-ahead to resume construction last week. In obtaining the new permit, the company needed to work with the DEP, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission.

The company states that the water intake system will allow it to reduce truck traffic in the area and withdraw water from the creek in an environmentally friendly manner. The intake structure will be constructed out of steel with a rubber facing. The Susquehanna River Basin Commission has approved a maximum daily withdrawal of 918,000 gallons of water at the site.

Source: Williamsport Sun Gazette, “DEP OKs water withdrawal system construction,” David Thompson, 7/1/2011