We’re in the homestretch for two important victories protecting Pennsylvania’s water!
On June 17, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) approved two new set of regulations supported by the PA Campaign for Clean Water. The first changed the state’s rule on Stormwater and Erosion & Sediment Control. As part of that package, the state proposed new rules requiring buffer zones of 150 feet for new development in Exceptional Value and High Quality waters! While this is not as protective as our Buffers 100 initiative, it is a HUGE step forward to protect our best streams, and is the result of years of work by the PA Campaign for Clean Water!
The second package adopted new regulations that will require wastewater from Marcellus Shale gas drilling projects to be treated before it is discharged into our rivers and streams. Since millions of gallons of water that is 6 times saltier than the ocean will be produced by these wells, this requirement is critical to keep our freshwater streams from being destroyed!
The regulations have passed review by the House and Senate Environmental Resources Committees and are now undergoing legal review by the Attorney General’s office. Once that is done, they can take effect, helping protect and improve our state’s waters.
Thanks to everyone for their help in getting these regulations adopted. Over 150 groups, businesses and municipalities have supported our Buffers 100 initiative, and 75 groups signed our letter to the IRRC supporting the regs. Tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians sent emails or letters to the Governor, their legislators and the IRRC supporting these regulations. And at the very end, 50 legislators signed letters supporting them too.
There’s still more to be done to stop Marcellus Shale drilling from affecting our water and to get buffers on more streams in our state. But our victories in June were a huge accomplishment! Thanks to everyone who helped make them possible!!