On May 2, the PA House Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing about
Shale Gas Drilling, Human Health, and the Environment, in Harrisburg.
Following are the summaries of testimony and statements from the meeting I’ve Tweeted @stevenwtodd.
Per Rep Vitali: DCNR Sec Allen, DEP Sec Abruzzo, DEP O&G permitting chief Scott Perry & former DEP Exec John Hines invited, declined.
Per Jay Duffy, Clean Air Council: DEP declines to model compressor fugitive emissions, but have been shown to yield significant effect. fugutuve emission rates as high as 8% have been found. Life cycle emissions may be higher, per EPA
Per John Hanger, former DEP Secretary and candidate for Governor: Agencies should make themselves available to public meetings such as these. I was as DEP Sec. DEPs job inevitably leads to stepping on some big toes. I’ve received such calls as DEP Sec. Regulatory staff and fees must grow with O&G permits. Have not since Governor Corbett in. Should continue moratorium in State Forests, example #Loyalsock. No impact fee would be enough. We should repeal the medical gag rule and compensate damages at twice property value. We all behave better when watched, it’s human nature. That’s why there are bosses and parents. At least a 50% staff increase from 2010 required for O&G. Air program particularly understaffed
Per Joe Osborne, GASP: PA has gone from 286 to over 6,000 unconventional gas well sites. Impacts on air as much as water. Fugitive gas emissions are adding to already significant ozone problem in PA. Regulatory policy & reporting exemptions OK for conventional drilling, not horizontal fracking. DEP willing to do the right thing, but too little, too late on common sense cost effective measures.
Per Bernie Goldstein: PA Dept of Health nationally reknown able to monitor O&G effect on human, animals, haven’t been asked. O&G alone is exempt from monitoring & reporting. That is wrong, and you (legislature) can change it. PA gives its Governor more power than any other state. We are dead last in staffing Dept of Health. PA Dept of Health gets no funding from impact fee. If they were funded, they would do normal things.
Per Jill Kreisky: Physicians are seeing patients, and they don’t know what’s going on w symptoms from apparent O&G effects.
Per Thomas Au, Sierra Club PA : DEP won’t disclose contaminants or actions to 25 homes’ wells contaminated by O&G requested. DEP should conduct mandatory O&G baseline pre-drill water testing. DEP has been extremely tight-lipped with information about well testing or procedures.
Per Kevin Heatley, RDA: I can live anywhere, I choose to live in Lycoming, PA. My sons can’t wait to leave, due to O&G. Forest value will accrue over time, versus drilling value goes down. Cost:Benefits ignore value. No comprehensive analysis done on contiguous forest. Impact of clearing land is 300′ beyond. Need to control rate of permitting per decade to allow recovery and ban interior O&G development.
Per Lauren Williams, Curtin & Heefner: Restore local zoning control over O&G, as with every other Industrial land use.