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Senate/House Bills Moving Last Week

The following bills of interest saw action last week in the House and Senate--

House

Repeal 2 Regs For Every New One Adopted: House Bill 1055 (Klunk-R-York) would enact an arbitrary requirement for state agencies to repeal 2 regulations for every new regulation a state agency wants to adopt and establish a duplicate $695,000 Independent Office of the Repealer was revived from the House Calendar after being voted down in April and passed by the House by a vote of 103 to 98. (House Fiscal Note & Summary) The bill now goes to the Senate for action.  Click Here for more background.

Military Installation Remediation Of PFAS: House Bill 1410 (Stephens-R-Montgomery) would set up a mechanism for cleaning up PFAS contamination tailored specifically to former military installations in Bucks and Montgomery counties by using state tax money paid by businesses and residents in the area of contamination to be used to remediate PFAS, cleanup water supplies or connect residents to public water or to float bonds to pay for these costs. It also establishes a PFAS funding program within PennVEST, but provides no additional funding. (House Fiscal Note & Summary) The bill was passed by the House by a vote of 144 to 54 and now goes to the Senate for action.  [Note: This bill would take tax money paid by individuals and businesses and pay for costs the U.S. Department of Defense is legally responsible for paying.  Similar legislation-- House Bill 2638-- was passed by the House and Senate at the very end of last session, but defeated on a concurrence vote in the House 95 to 86. During the House debate on the bill last week, Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) and others made the point that solutions to contamination problems like PFAS should not depend on your zip code.]

Brownfield Site Inventory: House Bill 1104 (Toohil-R-Luzerne)- Would create a registry that lists abandoned manufacturing sites that are now available properties for development (Part of House Republican EnergizePA natural gas subsidy package) was reported from the House Commerce Committee, referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee (House Fiscal Note & Summary) and passed the House.  The bill now goes to the Senate for action.

30 Day DEP Permit Reviews: House Bill 1106 (Puskaric-R-Allegheny) requires DEP approval of any permit regulating air quality, waste, erosion and sedimentation and dam safety and encroachments within 30 days without regard to public review of permits, creates a new bureaucracy in the form of a “referee” to decide disputes between DEP and applicants over application completeness ((Part of House Republican EnergizePA natural gas subsidy package)  was referred into and out of the House Appropriations Committee (House Fiscal Note & Summary) and is now on the House Calendar for action.  Click Here for more background.

Demolishing DEP Environmental Permit Review Program: House Bill 1107 (O'Neal-R- Washington) creates 5 member politically appointed commission named by the Senate, House and Governor to “administer the permitting and plan approval process es vested in DEP by law,” including promulgating regulations establishing permitting requirements and environmental standards and taking action on individual permit applications (Part of House Republican EnergizePA natural gas subsidy package)  was removed from the Table and referred to the House Appropriations Committee.  Click Here for more background.

Grants For Extending Natural Gas Pipelines: House Bill 1103 (Fritz-R-Susquehanna)- Expands the PIPE program which makes low-cost gas energy available to manufacturers and residents (Part of House Republican EnergizePA natural gas subsidy package) was reported from the House Finance Committee and Tabled.

Keystone Energy Zones: House Bill 1102 (Kail-R-Beaver) creating 20 Keystone Energy Enhancements Zones where businesses would be eligible for local tax exemptions and credits if they used natural gas (Part of House Republican EnergizePA natural gas subsidy package) was reported out of the House Commerce Committee and referred to the House Appropriations Committee.

Smokey Bear’s 75th Anniversary: House Resolution 461(Farry-R-Bucks) recognizing Smokey Bear’s 75th Anniversary [August 9] (sponsor summary) was adopted by the House.

Senate

Suspending Coal Refuse Operations: House Bill 1557 (Gabler-R-Clearfield) authorizing the temporary cessation of coal refuse disposal operations was reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee (Senate Fiscal Note & Summary) and was passed by the Senate without change.  The bill now goes to the Governor for his action.

Longer Drilling Laterals: Senate Bill 694 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) promoting the drilling of longer Shale gas well laterals (sponsor summary) was reported out of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was amended on the Senate Floor and passed by the Senate.  The bill now goes to the House for action.

Regulating Conventional Drilling/Authorize Road Dumping Of Wastewater: Senate Bill 790 (Scarnati-R-Jefferson) which sets environmental protection standards for conventional (not Shale gas) oil and gas well drilling and operation and legalizes the road dumping of drilling wastewater from conventional wells was reported out of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.   Click Here for more background.

Keystone Tree Fund:  House Bill 374 (Everett-R-Lycoming) to create the Keystone Tree Fund to create a vehicle and driver license checkoff to provide funding for DCNR’s tree planting programs (House Fiscal Note & Summary)  was reported out of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and was referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Regulatory Review: Senate Bill 398 (Gordner-R-Columbia) amending the Regulatory Review Act to eliminate the statement of purpose describing to the public why a regulation change is needed (sponsor summary) was reported out of the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee and is now on the Senate Calendar for action.  Click Here for more background.

Clean Energy Week: Senate Resolution 197 (Browne-R-Lehigh) recognizing September 23-27 as Clean Energy Week and promoting Senate Bill 705 community solar bill was adopted by the Senate (sponsor summary).

Local Water Week: Senate Resolution 208 (Martin-R-Lancaster) designating the week of August 10-17, 2019 as Local Water Week in Pennsylvania to complement the submittal of Pennsylvania’s Phase II Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (sponsor summary) was adopted by the Senate.

Energy Efficiency/CleanEnergy/Solar Tour Days: Senate Resolution 232 (Dinniman-D- Chester) designating October 2 as Energy Efficiency Day and October 19 as Clean Energy/Solar Tour Day in Pennsylvania (sponsor summary) was adopted by the Senate.


9/30/2019

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