November 10, 2011
Nine Days Remain to Pass Meaningful Marcellus Legislation
With only nine voting days remaining in the current legislative session, CBF'S Ehrhart urges General Assembly to act now to pass comprehensive legislation
(HARRISBURG, PA)—Matthew J. Ehrhart, Pennsylvania Executive Director for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and member of the Governor's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, today issued the following statement:
"We have nine legislative voting days left in this year. The time is now for the PA General Assembly to pass meaningful, comprehensive legislation to address the development of the Marcellus Shale gas play and future unconventional gas development. Legislation must address the needs of the citizens of the Commonwealth and protect our natural resources. The current Oil and Gas Act, originally crafted in 1984, has been rendered obsolete by the current techniques utilized in unconventional shale gas development. Given our tendency to not revisit significant legislation, it is of great importance that we get it right."
"It is imperative that we implement critical changes recommended through the Governor's Marcellus Shale Commission. The work of the Commission resulted in tangible recommendations for changes to Pennsylvania's Oil & Gas Act and suggestions for legislative action which, if implemented, will protect our waterways and drinking water."
Editor's Note: The following key areas of significant concerns had previously been conveyed to the Administration and General Assembly:
- Providing for substantial improvements in Erosion and Sediment Control and Permitting, and Road Maintenance.
- Bringing the County Conservation Districts back into the permitting process and oversight of the E&S permitting.
- Key setback provisions to protect our homes, drinking water wells, waterways, and environmentally-sensitive areas.
- Advancements in spill containment and wastewater transportation and manifesting.
- Create a long-term stable funding source with dedicated funding for environmental priorities with either an impact fee or severance tax.
- Ensure scientific research is conducted on important issues surrounding natural gas extraction activities; especially shallow gas migration, air loads and habitat fragmentation.
- Manifesting and tracking of wastewater
- Increased fines and bonding requirements
Watch the press conference video
Read Matt Erhart's remarks
Read the PEC-CBF joint press release