Monday, February 27, 2023

Republicans On Senate Committee Report Out Bills On Decommissioning Solar Energy Facilities, Limiting 1 Use Of PFAS Chemicals, Resolution Calling For Restart Of Keystone XL Pipeline

On February 27, Republicans on the
Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee reported out legislation setting decommissioning standards for solar energy facilities, a resolution calling for the restart of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and addressing one of thousands of uses of PFAS “forever chemicals.”

The bills include--

-- PFAS In Firefighting Foams: Senate Bill 144 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) would restrict the use of PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ in firefighting foams, which is only a very small use for the chemicals that can be found in thousands of products. The bill was reported out on a party-line vote, Republicans supporting.  

[Read more here about the threats posed by PFAS chemicals and their spread in the environment. “For the general public, the main sources of PFAS exposure are from drinking water and food, such as eating fish, eggs, or milk, or livestock that has fed on contaminated land. Direct exposure can also come via cosmetics, sprays or dust from consumer products, but little is known of the impacts through these pathways.”]

-- Decommissioning Solar Energy Facilities:  Senate Bill 211 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) the bill-- the former Senate Bill 284-- sets decommissioning rules for utility-scale solar energy facilities, including preempting local ordinances and regulations on decommissioning; and requiring compliance with the federal Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act.  The bill was voted out in a largely party-line vote, with Republicans and Sen. Carolyn Comitta (D-Chester) supporting.

-- Repealing California Diesel Vehicle Standards: Senate Bill 254 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) would suspend DEP’s regulations setting heavy-duty diesel emissions standards based on California standards. DEP already did this in November 2021 allowing federal standards to remain in place. Read more here.  The bill was reported out in a party-line vote, with Republicans supporting.

-- Restart Keystone XL Pipeline Construction: Senate Resolution 9 (Langerholc-R-Cambria) urging President Biden to restart construction of Keystone XL Pipeline, which is not in Pennsylvania.  The bill was reported out in a party-line vote, with Republicans supporting.

TC Energy abandoned its plans for the Keystone XL Pipeline for good in June 2021 to carry Canadian oil to Steele City, Kansas.  The existing Keystone Pipeline system is still functioning delivering Canadian oil to Oklahoma, Houston and Illinois.  The Keystone Pipeline shutdown in January after spilling 600,000 gallons of oil which will cost an estimated $480 million to clean up.  The pipeline has experienced nearly two dozen accidents since going into service in 2010.

The bills and resolution now go to the full Senate for consideration.

Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) serves as Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-787-3280 or sending email to:   Sen. Carolyn Comitta (D-Chester) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-5709 or sending email to:

(Photo: 600,000 gallons Keystone Pipeline oil spill in January.)

Resource Links:

-- The Guardian: What Are PFAS, How Toxic Are They And How Do You Become Exposed?

-- The Guardian: U.S. Averaging One Chemical  Accident Every 2 Days From Train Derailments, Pipeline Ruptures, Truck Crashes, Industrial Spills

PA DEP Public Notice Dashboards:

-- Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - Feb. 25 to March 3; More Well Plugging Sites Inspected [PaEN]

-- PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices/Opportunities To Comment - March 4 [PaEN]

-- DEP Posts 63 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In March 4 PA Bulletin  [PaEN] 

PA Oil & Gas Compliance Reports

-- Feature: 60 Years Of Fracking, 20 Years Of Shale Gas: Pennsylvania’s Oil & Gas Industrial Infrastructure Is Hiding In Plain Sight [PaEN]

-- Conventional Oil & Gas Well Owners Failed To File Annual Production/Waste Generation Reports For 61,655 Wells; Attorney General Continues Investigation Of Road Dumping Wastewater  [PaEN]

-- DEP Issued 754 Notices Of Violation For Defective Oil & Gas Well Casing, Cementing, The Fundamental Protection Needed To Prevent Gas Migration, Groundwater & Air Contamination, Explosions  [PaEN]

-- DEP Report Finds: Conventional Oil & Gas Drillers Routinely Abandon Wells; Fail To Report How Millions Of Gallons Of Waste Is Disposed; And Non-Compliance Is An ‘Acceptable Norm’  [PaEN]

-- DEP 2021 Oil & Gas Program Annual Report Shows Conventional Oil & Gas Operators Received A Record 610 Notices Of Violation For Abandoning Wells Without Plugging Them  [PaEN]

-- PA Oil & Gas Industry Has Record Year: Cost, Criminal Convictions Up; $3.1 Million In Penalties Collected; Record Number Of Violations Issued; Major Compliance Issues Uncovered; Evidence Of Health Impacts Mounts  [PaEN]

Related Articles This Week:

-- Bay Journal: PA Conventional Gas Wells Routinely Abandoned, Left Unplugged - By Ad Crable, Chesapeake Bay Journal  [PaEN]

-- PA Capital-Star Guest Essay: It’s Time To Hear Bold Leadership On Oil & Gas In Gov. Shapiro’s Budget Address - By Melissa Ostroff, EarthWorks, Member Shapiro Transition Team   [PaEN]

-- Better Path Coalition, FracTracker Alliance Release Pennsylvania Is Worth Protecting, A Visual Reminder Of The People, Places & Natural Resources Worth Protecting From Environmental Devastation, Climate Change  [PaEN]

-- Senate Committee Meets March 6 On Bill Prohibiting Elected Officials In Local Governments From Moving To Cleaner Energy Sources To Combat Climate Change  [PaEN]

-- Senate Committee Meets March 8 To Consider Bill Allowing General Assembly To Kill Regulations By Doing Nothing [PaEN]

-- Senate Hearing On Electric Grid Reliability: Natural Gas Continues To Have Reliability Problems; Renewables Aren’t Coming Online Fast Enough; Energy Office To Be Proposed  [PaEN]

-- Sen. Yaw Proposes Independent Energy Office To Promote Development Of PA’s Diverse Energy Portfolio - Natural Gas, Nuclear Power, Coal [PaEN]

-- Post-Gazette: Smoke Stacks From Closed Hatfield’s Ferry Coal-Fired Power Plant Demolished, Closing Chapter In PA Industrial History In Greene County: ‘I’m Ecstatic. It Was The Dirtiest, Dirtiest Place Ever.  It Put A Blight On Our Community’

-- PJM Interconnection Study Shows Renewable Energy Sources Not Coming Online Fast Enough To Replace Fossil Fuel Plants; Critical Path Analysis Started To Avoid Grid Reliability Risks  [PaEN] 

-- Latest PJM Interconnection Electricity Capacity Auction Shows Price Decrease, But Mixed Results In PA [PaEN] 

-- Independent Fiscal Office Reports 4th Quarter 2022 Natural Gas Production Decreased 1.6%; Average Price Increased By 82.5% Compared To Last Year [PaEN] 

-- Senate Republicans, 4 Democrats Pass Resolution Urging Restart Of Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Abandoned By Company [BTW Not In PA]   [PaEN]

-- Republicans On Senate Committee Report Out Bills On Decommissioning Solar Energy Facilities, Limiting 1 Use Of PFAS Chemicals, Resolution Calling For Restart Of Keystone XL Pipeline  [PaEN]

-- Solar United Neighbors Helping Lancaster Residents Harvest Sunshine With New Solar Co-Op  [PaEN] 

-- Observer-Reporter Guest Essay: Natural Gas Pipelines Can Secure Our Energy And Economic Future - By Republican Sen. Bartolotta  [DEP hasn’t denied any pipeline permits in PA, But they are the most heavily penalized for violations of any industry in PA history]

-- Washington & Jefferson College Hosts March 8 Webinar On Renewable Natural Gas  [PaEN]

[Post: February 27, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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