Wolf signs bill settling fight over drilling regulations

HARRISBURG (AP) — Legislation signed by Gov. Tom Wolf is killing tougher regulations over Pennsylvania’s traditional shallow oil and gas drilling industry approved in April by an independent regulatory board.

The bill he signed Thursday was part of an agreement with lawmakers. It settles a drawn-out fight over the regulations written by Wolf’s Department of Environmental Protection.

The agreement ends an effort by lawmakers to overturn the entire slate of regulations, which also apply to the Marcellus Shale natural gas industry. The Democratic governor says his administration will start work to redraft new regulations for the traditional, shallow industry.

The regulations require drillers to identify schools or playgrounds near wells, and if water supplies are damaged drillers will have to fix them or replace them with alternatives that meet federal standards.