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Gas Driller Complains About New Pa. Pipeline Rules

SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) _ A natural gas exploration company says new pipeline-construction regulations in Pennsylvania that were designed to streamline the permitting process are unnecessary, time consuming and redundant.

The Times-Tribune of Scranton reported Aug. 9 that Chesapeake Energy said delays caused by the permit reviews have prevented it from hooking up 128 of its Marcellus Shale wells.

Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy is one of the most active companies in the Marcellus Shale, which is considered the nation's largest-known natural gas reservoir. The new rules protecting waterways from pollution replace federal regulations that expired in June.

Army Corps of Engineers and state Department of Environmental Protection officials said the rules incorporate federal and state standards into one process. But Chesapeake said it increases the average project review from 45 days to nearly 300 days.