Friday, December 16, 2016

Senate, House Environmental, Energy Bills To Be Reintroduced In The New Session

On December 1 members of the Senate and House began circulating co-sponsor memos to their colleague announcing bills they plan to introduce and re-introduce in the new session.
Here’s a list of just a few of the 266 co-sponsor memos distributed so far related to environmental and energy issues--
-- Water Well Construction Standards: Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery) prior House Bill 48 and Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery) prior House Bill 81:  announced plans to reintroduce their bills setting water well construction standards through the adoption of rules and regulations recommended by the National Groundwater Association.
-- Marcellus Shale Health Registry: Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna) prior House Bill 252: creating a Marcellus Shale Health Registry,  a recommendation of the Governor's Marcellus Shale Advisory  Commission in 2011,  to evaluate the potential public health impacts associated with drilling in the Marcellus Shale for those individuals who live in close proximity to production sites.
-- PA Property Assessed Clean Energy Program: Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna) prior Senate Bill 1069. PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) is a financing mechanism that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation upgrades to commercial or industrial properties. The upfront capital is then paid back in the form of a voluntary property tax assessment on the specific, improved building
-- $400 Million To Fund Water, Sewer Infrastructure: Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) prior Senate Bill 381: Provides $400 million for the acquisition, repair and construction of water supply and sewer treatment systems through a bond approved by the voters.
-- Keeping Solar Energy Credits In PA: Sen. Mario Scavello (R-Monroe) prior Senate Bill 1343: legislation will essentially "close the borders" of the Commonwealth on SREC purchases, similar to many neighboring states. Electric distributors will have to purchase their credits from within the Commonwealth, thereby limiting the available supply of these SRECs.
-- No More Stringent Methane Regulations: Sen. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny) prior Senate Bill 1327: requires any regulations adopted by Pennsylvania to limit methane emissions from oil and gas operations to be no more stringent than federal requirements.
-- New Noxious Weed Control Law: Sen. David Argall (R-Schuylkill). Plans to introduce new legislation that would repeal the Noxious Weed Control Law (Act 74 of 1982) and replace it with the  Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act to better control existing and  potentially noxious weeds, maximizing the control resources of invasive species and protecting state lands.
-- Adds Natural Gas To Tier II Of AEPS: Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams) prior House Bill 1354: would amend the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act to add natural gas as a Tier II alternative energy source.
-- PA Natural Gas Business Development Zones: Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) prior Senate Bill 886: would grant a new business involved in energy or manufacturing up to 10 years of state tax relief if they locate in counties with natural gas producing wells, where they'll have ready access to a low-cost energy source.
-- Require DEP To Issue Oil & Gas E&S Permits In 14 Days: Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Allegheny) prior Senate Bill 1325: require DEP to issue erosion and sedimentation permits in 15 days if the application is submitted by a licensed engineer or geologist who has undergone training by DEP and impose bureaucratic reporting requirements on DEP.
           There were 3,783 bills introduced during the 2015-16 session-- 2,370 House, 1413 Senate; of which 271 became law and 17 were vetoed by the Governor. There were also 1,611 resolutions introduced-- 1,116 in the House and 495 in the Senate.

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