Latest Actions

11.20.2017 STATE ACTION

Issue: Governor Wolf must act to support and ensure enforcement of new methane emission regulations first proposed in 2016 as part of the Pennsylvania Climate Change Action Plan.

Current Status: The DEP’s air quality general permits GP-5 and GP-5a, which impose methane best practice leak detection and repair on drill sites, have long passed an extended public comment period. Industry friendly legislators have fought these new regulations with SB175, which has been in committee for months, and by attempts to weaken methane regulations through budget riders, which have so far not been imposed.
From a recent LTE by Dr. Peterson, “About 1.5 MILLION Pennsylvanians live within a half-mile radius of oil and gas development. The health consequences of this are being increasingly documented. We know it can affect infant brain development, increase respiratory problems including asthma, and cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel disease), and contamination– not only of the air but drinking water also. Methane is also a leading cause of climate change being 86 times as powerful as carbon dioxide in its first 20 years after its release. Subsidies for this industry from our government do not help pay for the health and economic toil on each of us.”

Script: Governor Wolf, in 2016 you committed to take action with the DEP to reduce methane emissions. As 2017 comes to a close and PA is still being poisoned by massive cumulative methane leaks, at over 100,000 active oil and gas facilities across the state, your commitment has not been forgotten. Now is the time to put new rules in place to eliminate methane emissions.

Resources:

Shale Law in the Spotlight: DEP Addresses Oil and Gas Methane Emissions Reduction Strategy

Methane Emissions from Shale Industry Rise

11.20.2017 FEDERAL

Issue: Michael Dourson, an industry-friendly toxicologist nominated to lead the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention

Current Status: Michael Dourson’s deep ties to the chemical industry have sparked widespread concern about his ability to lead the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, the nation’s top regulator of toxic chemicals. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Richard Burr (R-NC) have announced that they oppose his confirmation. One more Republican vote could remove him from consideration. Dourson would be in a position to make decisions affecting chlorpyrifos, just one of the pesticides he’s been paid to research, which can cause memory, intelligence, attention, and motor problems in children. Based on numerous studies that found that very low doses of the pesticide can harm children’s brains, the EPA proposed banning chlorpyrifos in 2016. In research paid for by Dow, the manufacturer of chlorpyrifos, Dourson came up with a safety threshold that was some 5,000 times less protective than what the EPA recommended for children between the ages of one and two.

Script for Senator Toomey: MIchael Dourson, proposed lead of the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, has repeatedly issued standards on behalf of the chemical manufacturers that put public health at risk. Safety from noxious chemicals is a concern of all of us and Dourson is not our choice for this position. I urge you to vote no on Dourson’s nomination.

References:

The Hill

Public poll

The Intercept