Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sen. Scarnati Plans To Reintroduce Marcellus Shale Health Advisory Panel Bill

Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) is circulating a co-sponsor memo on legislation he plans to reintroduce creating a Marcellus Shale Health Advisory Panel he said “similar to” Senate Bill 555 of last session.
The panel would be tasked with thoroughly investigating and studying advancements in science, technology and public health data in order to provide Pennsylvania elected officials, regulators and the general public with information, analysis and recommendations regarding the safe, efficient and environmentally responsible extraction and use of unconventional natural gas reserves in the Commonwealth.
“There has been much discussion regarding the potential effects of Marcellus Shale drilling on public health and safety,” said Sen. Scarnati.  “The creation of an advisory panel composed of experts from a wide range of fields including doctors, scientists, academics and industry leaders will provide Pennsylvania with a critical asset in addressing any current or future impacts arising from the development of the Marcellus Shale.”
The creation of a permanent health advisory panel was a suggestion of the Governor's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission.  
The panel would consist of nine members including the Secretaries of Health and Environmental Protection, as well as individuals to be appointed by the Governor, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Speaker of the House, and the House and Senate Minority Leaders.

2 comments :

  1. Let me give my Senator Scarnati the benefit of the doubt here and say that he will introduce this bill after Tom Wolf is sworn in, so that gubernatorial appointees are named by Wolf, not by an outgoing Tom Corbett Administration. Yes? And I am also still looking for answer to this question from the good Senator (who has ignored it several times from me): Why appoint a political panel when he could suggest that the state put money behind the health data mining and analysis that Geisinger & its partners already have underway? We could get some good data on the health people living near shale gas wells and infrastructure that way. The panel he suggests will have as its mission "to provide Pennsylvania elected officials, regulators and the general public with information, analysis and recommendations regarding the safe, efficient and environmentally responsible extraction." What is it cannot be made safe? That should be a question that any panel should address, rather than being sent out that gate to create a report that says it can be done safely.

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  2. This bill would have to be introduced, passed by the Senate and House and signed by the Governor before any appointments are made. The first scheduled voting date for the General Assembly is now set for January 20, inauguration day.

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