The House Democratic Policy Committee on Tuesday heard from local residents and environmental advocates at a public hearing in Washington to examine the guidelines for the state Department of Environmental Protection’s reporting of results of environmental tests following natural gas drilling.
State Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil, requested the hearing and served as its co-chairman. White recently introduced H.B. 268 that
“Pennsylvanians in the Marcellus Shale region have a right and need to know what chemicals are in the water linked to natural gas drilling,” state Rep. Mike Sturla, who heads the policy committee, said. “I applaud Rep. White for the thorough job he has done of reaching out to stakeholders in southwest Pennsylvania in the best interest of all residents.”
“Based on the DEP’s recent history, I think we have a lot to discuss about the way the department is handling Marcellus Shale operations,” White said. “Residents are simply asking DEP to do its job, and to make sure that they are accountable and responsive whenever problems arise.”
Those testifying at the hearing included: Kim Staub, resident of Mt. Pleasant Township; Chris Lauff, resident of Mt. Pleasant Township; Judy Armstrong Stiles, resident of Wyalusing Township, Bradford County; David Headley, resident of Springhill Township, Fayette County; and Craig Stevens, resident of Silver Lake Township, Susquehanna County; and environmental advocates Nadia Steinzor, eastern program coordinator, Earthworks; Melissa Troutman, outreach coordinator, Mountain Watershed Association; Steve Hvozdovich, policy associate, Clean Water Action; and Erika Staaf, clean water advocate, PennEnvironment.
For more information about the Policy Committee and hearing materials, visit www.pahouse.com/PolicyCommittee.
Editor's Note: For further coverage, click here for the Post-Gazette story.