News Release | PennEnvironment

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

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). 

News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: Pittsburgh City Council takes crucial first step to eliminate plastic bag pollution

PITTSBURGH -- Pennsylvania’s two largest cities could soon join forces to protect the Commonwealth from plastic pollution and the health and environmental degradation it causes. Councilmember Erika Strassburger introduced a resolution Tuesday announcing the Pittsburgh City Council’s intent to pass a citywide ban on single-use plastic bags, were it not for a state law preempting local governments from doing so. In March, Philadelphia, along with the boroughs of West Chester and Narberth, and Lower Merion Township, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the General Assembly’s preemption law. The passage of Councilmember Strassburger’s resolution would open the door for the City of Pittsburgh to file a legal motion in support of that suit. 

News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: PA cities’ lawsuit to undo General Assembly’s preemption crucial to addressing plastic pollution

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia joined with the municipalities of Lower Merion, Narberth (Montgomery County) and West Chester (Chester County) to file a lawsuit Wednesday against Pennsylvania’s General Assembly. The suit claims the legislature unconstitutionally enacted a preemption law that strips the ability of local communities and officials across the commonwealth to implement ordinances addressing waste and litter from single-use plastics.

News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: Vote to protect Delaware River from fracking is historic

PHILADELPHIA – The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), a regional multi-state agency charged with preserving the Delaware River watershed, cast a historic vote today to ban fracking within the Delaware River Basin. This action comes after a multi-year public input process. Patrick McDonnell, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, voted on behalf of Governor Tom Wolf to approve this proposal.

News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

PennEnvironment Response to DRBC approval of new LNG plant

Today, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) gave final approval to a new liquified natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Gibbstown, New Jersey, with a 4-0 vote. Despite widespread opposition in the region and across Pennsylvania, governors from DE, NJ, PA, and a representative of the U.S. government, Army Corp. of Engineers Lt. Colonel Park, all voted in favor, with the U.S. motioning to adopt the approving resolution and Pennsylvania seconding the motion to bring it to a vote. NY abstained from the vote, citing concerns about water contamination, safety, and the looming climate crisis.

News Release | PennEnvironment

Environmental Groups File Federal Lawsuit Over Air Pollution from Industrial Flares

Washington, D.C. – A coalition of ten environmental organizations today sued the Trump Administration’s EPA over its failure to reduce toxic air pollution from industrial flares at petrochemical plants, gas processing facilities, municipal solid waste landfills, and other large industrial sites.

News Release | PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center

Pittsburghers hold ‘Toxic Ten Week’ to clean up region’s air pollution

PITTSBURGH -- As local officials fail to protect Pittsburghers from air pollution, local organizations and concerned citizens are kicking off "Toxic Ten Week," a campaign with daily activities meant to spur officials in Allegheny County to action.

News Release | PennEnvironment

Attorney General Josh Shapiro briefs hundreds of concerned Pennsylvanians about fracking report’s findings

[Philadelphia, PA] -- More than 375 concerned Pennsylvanians joined PennEnvironment and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro for a webinar to get an inside view of how the Attorney General’s office developed its recent Grand Jury report on fracking and released its recommendations. The report, released June 25th by Attorney General Shapiro’s office, shows how the fracking industry has run roughshod over Pennsylvania’s health and environment, and highlighted examples of  regulators and other state leaders turning a blind eye to complaints and concerns raised by affected residents. 

News Release | PennEnvironment

STATEMENT: As Pennsylvania’s residents and state programs face financial uncertainty during pandemic, General Assembly approve $670 million tax break to fracking and petrochemical industry

PITTSBURGH -- The Pennsylvania General Assembly today passed an eye-popping $670 million, 25-year tax break for the fracking and petrochemical industry. The proposal was quietly  amended into House Bill 732 without public input or hearing on the legislation. HB732 was originally intended to help essential volunteer emergency medical services and fire departments. The deal was negotiated behind closed doors between Gov. Wolf and Republican leaders in the General Assembly. Gov. Wolf had already vetoed similar legislation earlier this spring.

News Release | PennEnvironment

Statement: Gov. Wolf’s veto of tax break for fracking, single-use plastics is vital

PHILADELPHIA – Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf today vetoed a bill (HB 1100) that would give the fracking and petrochemical industries a massive tax break. The legislation would not only lead to more than $660 million in lost revenue for the commonwealth, but would also make it harder to fund important statewide priorities such as environmental protection, public health and education. 

The proposal has been met with broad opposition from environmental organizations. Nevertheless, members of the General Assembly have publicly stated their intent to try to override Gov. Wolf’s veto.

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