DEP Must Enact Strong Standards to Regulate Methane Pollution From Drilling

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Letter To The Editor

By Jenny Lisak, Punxsutawney

April 29, 2015

I was not surprised to learn that emissions from Pennsylvania’s under-regulated gas industry are on the rise (“Pennsylvania DEP Says Emissions Increased From Expanding Natural Gas Industry,” April 20). For years drillers have been coming to Pennsylvania in droves to take advantage of our state’s rich shale play knowing that rules requiring operators to manage their air pollution are few and far between.

It’s no surprise that the American Lung Association repeatedly ranks Pennsylvania’s drilling counties among the lowest in the state in terms of air quality.

But I was puzzled by the assertion that methane pollution is decreasing as a result of “strong state-based regulations,” according to the Marcellus Shale Coalition president.

Read the full letter here

Air Pollution Increases at Pennsylvania’s Natural Gas Sites

NPR: State Impact PA

By Susan Phillips

April 20, 2015

Sulfur dioxide emissions jumped 57 percent from 2012 to 2013 at the state’s natural gas production sites, according to data released today by the Department of Environmental Protection. Sulfur dioxide contributes to acid rain, and causes respiratory problems including asthma.  Other air pollutants that contribute to public health impacts also increased. These jumps in emissions coincide with the number of well sites reporting.

Acting DEP Secretary John Quigley said in a press release that the results were not a surprise.

“The industry is growing,” said Quigley. “And each year we are expanding the types and number of facilities from which we collect data so that we have a more comprehensive understanding of air quality issues.”

Quigley says overall the state’s air quality is improving, despite the increased emissions from the natural gas sector.

The 2013 shale gas emissions inventories include a jump of 19 percent for volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), 12 percent for particulate matter, and 8 percent for nitrogen oxides. VOC’s can cause a whole host of symptoms, including eye, nose and throat irritations; and headaches, nausea and liver and kidney damage...Read more here

Gas Drilling Industry Should Realize Wolf is New Sheriff in Town: As I See It

PennLive Op-Ed

By Myron ArnowittJoanne Kilgour and Joe Minott

March 31, 2015

Gov. Tom Wolf pledged more than once on the campaign trail that he would rein in the natural gas industry and hold it accountable in a way that his predecessor, Gov. Tom Corbett, seemed either unwilling or unable to do.

Our new governor expects drilling to be done in a manner that protects public health and the environment, and the vast majority of Pennsylvanians support this level of accountability. Yet, industry lobbyists cried wolf at a recent advisory board hearing as if common sense rules that will protect our air and water signaled the end of drilling in Pennsylvania.

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Methane Leaks Must Be Addressed

Lancaster Online - Letter To The Editor

By B. David Smith, Manheim Township

March 30, 2015

Gov. Tom Wolf, keeping his campaign promise, has proposed revisions to oil and gas regulations in Pennsylvania. These measures include standards to protect our ground water. With 243 documented cases of natural gas contamination in Pennsylvania drinking water, this provision is clearly needed.

Read the full letter here

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