Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Rep. Metcalfe: It Would Be ‘Irresponsible’ And 'Neglecting Your Duty' Not To Protect The Public From The Health Consequences Of Certain Businesses

On May 23, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources, said this about protecting the public from the health consequences of certain businesses--

“Will I think, whereas there's investments that have been made, but if information comes to light that there are health consequences within certain distances to certain types of businesses, I think it would be irresponsible and you'd be neglecting your duty as a policymaker if you didn't consider those in deciding that regulations need to be changed and the law needs to be changed [to protect the public]. 

“So, not saying that's the case, but it might be. That's why we're having this informational meeting today is to have more information presented so that policymakers, instead of the bureaucrats, can maybe start to get involved in making a better decision for the people of Pennsylvania.”

Rep. Metcalfe made the comments in reaction to statements by a witness at an informational meeting on legislation that would prohibit waste landfills within certain distances of municipalities with certain population densities.  Read more here.

Michelle Nestor, representing publicly-owned landfills and the Keystone Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North American, had just commented, “When you're a business person or a county or whatever looking at an operation like this, when you start the permitting process and, in fact, have maybe obtained a permit, it doesn't seem logical for the rules to change in the 11th hour. It seems as if you should know what the rules are when you start and be able to determine whether you make that investment.” 

Prime sponsor Rep. Timothy Bonner (R-Mercer) said the bills-- House Bills 2338 and 2339-- were necessary because “waste disposal sites often present issues of air, water and soil pollution, offensive odors, noise, traffic and declining property values” and should not be located next to densely populated neighborhoods (sponsor summary).

Both the publicly-owned and privately-owned landfills opposed the legislation.

Click Here to watch a video of the informational meeting.  Rep. Metcalfe’s exchange comes at about minute 114:45.

Natural Gas Infrastructure Is Different

At a March hearing on “unleashing” the natural gas industry to produce and export more natural gas, Rep. Metcalfe said opponents of natural gas infrastructure projects “just need to be ignored and politically ran over.”

The full text of his comments follows--

“I think I'd like to see action more than I'd like to see a study.

“I don't think it should take a lot of study to understand that when you have a city that has a port, that they should be an area that you look to put one of these types of facilities that are going to be needed to help Europe in the wake of Russia's attack on Ukraine and the commitment that Biden made to have more liquid natural gas provided to Europe in the future.

“I think this NIMBY attitude that occurs with pipelines going through New York or with facilities being located in Philadelphia, the not in my backyard people, I think they ought to be run over with policy changes by the federal government and state government that are in the best interest of the citizens of this nation and best interest of our national security.

“This is a national security issue, but NIMBYs should have no input on not allowing this in their backyard when it's a viable alternative just 'cause they don't want it there.

“If there's a port there and it can be utilized to export liquid natural gas, we should be using it, and we shouldn't allow delays to occur with environmental groups or not in my backyard types or anybody else.

“Policy should be pushed through that's going to protect this nation, and those that are standing in the way of it just need to be ignored and politically ran over.”

Rep. Metcalfe decided not to seek reelection and will be retiring at the end of this session.

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) serves as Majority Chair of the House Environmental Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-783-1707 or sending email to:

Related Article:

-- Republican Chair Of House Environmental Committee Believes Opponents Of Natural Gas Infrastructure Projects ‘Just Need To Be Ignored And Politically Ran Over’

[Posted: May 25, 2022]  PA Environment Digest

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