Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Senate Environmental Committee Meets June 21 On Redefining Spills, CO2 Injection Well Primacy, Creating Energy Information Office

Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee has scheduled a meeting for June 21 on bills redefining spills, CO2 injection well primacy and creating an energy information office.  The legislation includes--

-- Redefining Spills: Senate Bill 286 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) would redefine when a spill needs to be reported by letting the polluter decide when to notify DEP taking into account control and remedial measures, whether the discharge will harm receiving waters or public health.  [The current standard is if you spill something within reportable quantities you report it-- simple.]  

The bill was introduced at the request of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation which was unhappy with an April 17, 2017 settlement with DEP over an appeal of a stormwater pollution prevention permit for its West Point, Montgomery County plant (Environmental Hearing Board Docket No. 2015-011-L).

Environmental groups, county conservation districts and many others oppose the bill and has been introduced several times in previous sessions.  Read more here.

-- CO2 Injection Wells: Senate Bill 831 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) would direct the state to apply for primary authority to regulate Class VI carbon dioxide underground injection wells from the U.S. EPA.

DEP submitted a notice of intent to apply for injection well primacy to EPA in April  Read more here.

Environmental groups have expressed concerns about DEP’s capacity to regulate injection wells.  Read more here.  

The PA Environmental Council said carbon capture should be part of a comprehensive decarbonization strategy responsibly deployed.  Read more here.

-- Energy Information Office:  Senate Bill 832 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) would establish the Independent Energy Information Office to provide “impartial, timely and data driven analysis to guide the state in determining and meeting future energy needs.”  It is modeled on the current Independent Fiscal Office.

The meeting will be held in Room 461 starting at 9:30 a.m.  Click Here to watch online.

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: gyaw@pasen.gov.   Sen. Carolyn Comitta (D-Chester) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-5709 or sending email to: senatorcomitta@pasenate.com.

[Posted: June 20, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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