Energy and Utilities

RT offers permitting services, on an expedited basis in Pennsylvania, to the shale gas industry. RT has worked for utility clients, since the early 1990’s, and our work includes facility upgrades, permission for installation of pipelines, permitting, and erosion and sedimentation control work, including coordination with regulatory agencies. Our ecological services team can assist with permitting from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in addition to other state and local agencies, where needed.


Developing natural gas from the Marcellus Shale is a process regulated by both state and federal agencies responsible for the protection of the environment and the sound use of water resources. Between 30-35 individual permits, depending on a well’s specific location, are required to drill a natural gas well in Pennsylvania.


Oil and gas exploration and drilling is regulated under all or part of the state oil and gas laws, the Clean Streams Law, the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act, the Solid Waste Management Act, the Water Resources Planning Act, and the Worker and Community Right to Know Act.


DEP is responsible for reviewing and issuing drilling permits, inspecting drilling operations and responding to complaints about water utility problems.


DEP inspectors conduct routine and unannounced inspections of drilling sites and wells statewide. Other agencies directly responsible for monitoring the effects of drilling on water quality and aquatic life include the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the Susquehanna and Delaware River basin commissions, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Pennsylvania’s county conservation districts.


The Select Committee on Marcellus Shale approved an amendment that will double the cost of the permits from $5,000 to $10,000. They have also raised the price of permits for additional wells at the site from $1,000 to $5,000 each.


Estimates of the amount of extractable gas it contains have risen from 25 trillion cubic feet a year ago to up to 75 trillion cubic feet today and there are now 73 companies operating in the Marcellus shale field.


We have also been involved in the permitting of gas extraction wells, and to obtain clean fill approvals, to move materials within rights of way. We are members of the Pennsylvania Utility Contractors Association, and The Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association.