New Methane Rules Called Just a Start
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Clean air advocates want the Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection to strengthen rules for methane leaks from existing sources.
Environmental groups say last week's release of the final draft of permits to control emissions from new oil and gas wells, pipelines and compressor stations was an important step in the right direction.
But according to Andrew Williams with the Environmental Defense Fund, Gov. Tom Wolf appears to be backing off his pledge to apply methane controls on the thousands of oil and gas facilities already in operation in Pennsylvania.
He says, "Gov. Wolf and the Department chose to tie their strategy to controls that exist at the federal level already – the very same controls that President Trump's EPA is now in the process of walking back."
Williams says as the second biggest natural gas producer in the country, Pennsylvania needs to do more than meet the bare minimum of emission control standards.
Methane alone is a major contributor to climate change. But emissions also contain smog forming volatile organic compounds that trigger asthma and other respiratory diseases.
Williams notes that those being affected already have been waiting for years for relief.
"Communities are experiencing the impacts of oil and gas pollution right now,” he says, “and the vast majority of Pennsylvanians support controlling methane emissions across the state."
He says Wolf first promised to cut emissions from existing oil and gas facilities three years ago.
Williams points out that other gas producing states such as Colorado have instituted controls that exceed the federal standards.
He says now the governor has an opportunity to show real leadership.
"Leadership that will make sense on both sides of the political aisle,” says Williams, “leadership that will provide much-needed protections to those millions of families living near oil and gas operations here in Pennsylvania."
Wolf and the DEP have pledged to finalize the permits for new oil and gas facilities in the first quarter of next year.
get more stories like this via email
The youngest North Carolina voters could end up shifting the political landscape of the state in the not-too-distant future. New data from the …
Protests have heightened in New York as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joins the United Nations General Assembly today. Sonya Meyerson-…
Many across the state of Nevada will celebrate National Public Lands Day tomorrow. Nevadans will be able to visit state parks for free on Saturday…
Across Utah, 10 cities will be using ranked choice voting in the general election in November. In 2018, Utah passed a bill to establish a pilot …
While North Dakota does not have voter registration, civic engagement groups say efforts are still needed to help underserved populations get …
Health and Wellness
Open enrollment begins soon for employer-sponsored health insurance for coverage starting Jan 1. Most people will have multiple options to choose …
Health and Wellness
Health care advocates are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign four bills aiming to lower medical bills, improve transparency, and make health care more …
Rural advocates are supporting the Farmland for Farmers Act in Congress. It would restrict the amount of Iowa farmland large corporations can own…