Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Environmental bills in committee today in Harrisburg

Capitol in Harrisburg 

Members of the House Environmental Resources and Energy committee were
scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. today in Room 39, East Wing, to consider two bills.

HB 343 (Ron Miller, R-93) would authorize the Environmental Quality Board to establish statewide private well construction standards through the adoption of rules and regulations
of the DEP that are generally consistent with the National Groundwater Association construction standards.

The sponsor notes that some 20,000 new water wells are drilled each year in Pennsylvania, but the Commonwealth is one of the few states without private well regulations. More than
3 million Pennsylvanians rely on about 1 million private wells for drinking water.  Improperly constructed water wells can lead to poor water quality by providing pathways for bacteria and contaminants such as naturally occurring shallow methane gas to migrate into water supplies.  Ensuring that the well is constructed properly from the start will help to prevent water quality problems in the future.

Miller notes that his legislation would establish construction standards, including the decommissioning of abandoned wells, to be followed by water well drillers and owners.
He stressed that the legislation does not require the metering of homeowner wells. 

HB 1414 (Garth Everett, D-84) aims to assist landowners in obtaining information from gas operators pertaining to deductions from royalty check pay stubs.

The sponsor says that Pennsylvania law, currently, does not require gas operators to list all deductions from monthly payments to royalty owners. The bill would
require natural gas operators to show on each stub, attachment to a payment form, or other remittance, specific information concerning the amount of the royalty and any deductions.

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