The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) on Tuesday approved RRC staff-recommended revisions to proposed changes to commission rules governing casing, cementing, drilling and completion of wells; cathodic protection wells; and seismic holes and core holes. Changes were initially proposed in September in response to action by the Texas Legislature. The revised proposal for changes takes into account responses received by commission staff during a public comment period. The current 45-day public comment period will end at noon April 1. A public hearing is scheduled for 1:30 CST Feb. 21 at the RRC’s Austin office.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency its Integrated Water Quality Report – 2012, the 21st in a series of biannual DEP reports prepared in response to a Clean Water Act requirement. According to the report, which describes the health of various waterways in the Susquehanna River basin and other waterways, the cause of fish die-offs and other aquatic wildlife issues in the state “has not yet been determined or linked to any particular water quality issue,” said DEP Secretary Mike Krancer. “Based on the science and law, we do not believe that the main stem of Susquehanna River should be proposed as impaired under the Clean Water Act” as the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission had requested. In 2011 DEP ordered water treatment plants in the state to test for radioactivity and other contaminants from Marcellus Shale wastewater (see Shale Daily, April 12, 2011). “Most results showed no detectable levels of radioactivity, and the levels that were detectable did not exceed safe drinking water standards,” said the DEP.