On July 10, 2010, the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board (Board) published a proposed rule concerning oil and gas well casing and cementing in the Pennsylvania Bulletin (40 Pa. Bull. 3845). Publication opens a 30-day public comment period that closes August 9, 2010. The proposed regulations are intended to minimize gas migration and provide an increased degree of protection of water supplies. In particular, the proposed rulemaking would update existing requirements regarding the drilling, casing, cementing, testing, monitoring, and plugging of oil and gas wells, and the protection of water supplies. The proposed modifications include updated material specifications and performance testing and revised design, construction, operational, monitoring, plugging, water supply replacement, and gas migration reporting requirements. Depending upon the type of well, i.e., Marcellus Shale, shallow gas, or oil well, the Board estimates the additional cost of compliance to be in the $8,000 to $12,500 range. Written comments may be submitted to the Board via U.S. Mail or e-mail as follows: P.O. Box 8477, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8477, or RegComments@state.pa.us. In addition, the Board will hold four public hearings for the purpose of accepting comments as follows: July 19, 2010 - Tunkhannock, PA; July 21, 2010 – Williamsport, PA; and July 22, 2010 – Meadville, PA, and Pittsburgh, PA. The amendments will take effect upon publication as a final rulemaking in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, which is expected to occur in the Fall of 2010. For the text of the proposed rule, click here and scroll down to pages 3845-59.