PennEnvironment Statement: State Senators introduce legislative package to limit harms from fracking

Bills to require disclosure, air and water monitoring, fracking well setbacks, and other safeguards
For Immediate Release

PITTSBURGH -- Pennsylvania lawmakers today unveiled a package of legislation to address the most egregious problems with fracking by implementing the recommendations from last year’s grand jury report. The investigation found that Pennsylvania’s leaders had “failed” to protect the public from fracking and allowed the industry to damage public health.

The specific legislation announced and highlighted at the Zoom news conference include legislation introduced by state Senator Katie Muth to require disclosure of chemicals used in fracking (SB651), air and water monitoring (SB 652), and public health response legislation (SB654); Senator Maria Collett to give jurisdiction to the Office of the Attorney General to address fracking violations (SB 655, SB 656, and SB 657); Senator John Sabatina to address the transportation of fracking waste (SB 653); and Democratic Chairwoman of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee Carolyn Comitta to increase setbacks from fracking well pads for schools and other vulnerable populations (SB650). 

Zachary Barber, clean air advocate for PennEnvironment, issued the following statement:

"For too long, fracking has run roughshod over environmental and health protections. As last year’s grand jury report showed, Pennsylvania’s leaders have failed to implement basic protections and even sided with this toxic industry at the public’s expense.

"The legislation announced today represents a critical first step toward limiting the worst harms caused by fracking. By implementing the Grand Jury’s recommendations, the Pennsylvania Attorney General could keep fracking away from schools and homes, require fracking companies to publicly report the chemicals used in their drilling processes , and ensure that our environmental watchdogs aren’t cozying up with polluters.

“When residents came forward with evidence of fouled streams and stories of children waking up with uncontrollable nosebleeds that were included in the Attorney General’s Grand Jury report, they noted that they were ignored, dismissed, or even threatened by the leaders who were supposed to protect them.

"Urgent action is needed to ensure that Pennsylvanians have air to breathe and water to drink that is free from fracking’s toxic pollution.”

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PennEnvironment is a citizen-based, statewide environmental advocacy organization working to ensure clean air, clean water, and protecting Pennsylvania’s great natural heritage. For more information about this and other PennEnvironment projects, visit www.PennEnvironment.org.