PA Senate Committee Unanimously Approves Gas Emergency Preparedness Bill, Sends It to Senate

After weighing direct input from emergency responders and gas companies operating in the Shale, the Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee unanimously approved a bill requiring “natural gas drilling companies to post emergency information at drilling sites and file response plans with local authorities.” It’s the second laudable step taken by Harrisburg in the last few weeks. The first being the DEP’s imposing the largest fine ever on Chesapeake Oil and Gas for violations related to the LeRoy, Bradford County well accident.

The legislation, which is sponsored by the committee’s chairwoman, Sen. Lisa Baker, (R-Luzerne), is intended to “help prevent more significant environmental damage during gas-well emergencies by cutting down on response times.” She anticipates the bill will come up for a full Senate vote following the Memorial Day recess. She expects equally positive support for the measure from both lawmakers and the drilling companies affected by the bill.

SOURCE: John Maganaro, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com, May 24, 2011

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