Monday, January 13, 2020

Opposition To Road Dumping Drilling Wastewater Grows: 166 Organizations, 1,445 Citizens Call On House Committee To Reject Senate Bill 790 At Today’s Meeting

As the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee prepares to consider Senate Bill 790 [TODAY AT NOON], Berks Gas Truth has submitted to committee members a copy of a letter sent in October to lawmakers and Gov. Wolf.
166 organizations and 1,445 individuals have now signed the letter that expresses opposition to the bill that allow the road-spreading of drilling waste on unpaved roads in the Commonwealth. 
Senate Bill 790 introduced by Sen. Joseph Scarnati (R-Jefferson) provides other benefits to conventional drillers, including a loosening of the requirements for reporting spills.
The letter was initially addressed to Senate leaders, but copied to other legislators and the governor, after the bill was moved straight from the Appropriations committee to a floor vote with no debate.  
The letter states, “We, the undersigned, are writing to protest your refusal to follow the established process in a rush to get a win for the industry you have come to believe you represent.”
“Evidence of the dangers of spreading drilling waste on roadways has only grown since the DEP banned the practice. Unfortunately, we have a largely science-averse legislature that is much more concerned with keeping its industry underwriters happy than with keeping Pennsylvanians safe. The people know it and are done with it.” said Karen Feridun, Founder of Berks Gas Truth.
The letter closes, “Doing the bidding of the natural gas industry is not your job. You are in Harrisburg to represent the best interests of Pennsylvanians. You are failing us, regularly and miserably. We call on the House to stop both Senate Bill 790 and House Bill 1635 (a similar measure introduced this year). Should they fail to represent our best interests, we call on Governor Wolf to commit to vetoing whichever bill reaches his desk.”
The House Environmental Committee amended the bill to take out the provisions related to road dumping of drilling wastewater, but that doesn’t mean it won’t pop up again.
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[Posted: January 13, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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