Cut Fracking Air Pollution
For years, Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry has operated on a “drill first, regulate later” basis. This approach has meant that Pennsylvania residents who live near natural gas facilities are exposed to harmful air pollutants, while downwind communities experience elevated smog levels which worsen asthma and other respiratory diseases.
But after over two years of advocacy by Pennsylvania residents like you, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is finally moving forward with new health protections to reduce air pollution leaks from natural gas facilities.
DEP could make these new protections even stronger. More importantly, the protections proposed by DEP only cover newly proposed natural gas facilities while not addressing the facilities that are already operating and polluting the air we breathe every day.
DEP recently opened the public comment period for these protections, which are achieved through conditions under two General Permits. We need you to submit a comment calling on DEP to make the General Permits as strong as possible and to work quickly to develop protections for existing natural gas facilities.
Ask for Public Health Protections for Shell Ethane Cracker Plant
The ethane cracker that Shell is proposing to build in Beaver County, Pennsylvania will lead to significant amount of new air pollution that could cause health impacts on area residents. Pollutants from this plant will include known and suspected carcinogens, as well as pollutants that can cause serious health issues such as birth defects, airway irritation, difficulty breathing, decreased lung function, heart attacks, premature death, aggravation of asthma and increase asthma attacks. Further, Beaver County air quality already exceeds the federal health standards for ozone (smog), which are set to protect human health. As Shell prepares the site for construction, residents are already suffering quality of life impacts from noise, traffic, and light pollution.
Stop the Elcon Hazardous Waste Burner
Bucks County was the only county in Pennsylvania to have two dangerous “Red Ozone Days” in 2013. In 2014, it was second only to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in “orange” air quality days where children, the elderly and asthmatics are at risk of respiratory damage. In spite of this, Pennsylvania’s DEP is considering allowing Elcon Recycling Services to construct a hazardous waste treatment facility in Morrisville, next to the Wheelabrator Falls Waste Incinerator. Just last May, Pennsylvania’s DEP found that the incinerator violated its agreement to continuously monitor emissions.
Support Clean Energy in Pennsylvania
Today, under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to limit carbon pollution from power plants, Pennsylvania has an unprecedented opportunity to transition away from dirty fossil fuels and towards a cleaner, healthier future based on renewable energy and energy efficiency. By developing a strong plan to comply with the Clean Power Plan, Pennsylvania can save thousands of lives while creating jobs, lowering electric bills, and preventing the worst effects of climate change.
Tell Pennsylvania DEP: Lead is Dangerous
Although the public input process for Northampton Generating Company’s (NGC) proposed lead increase ended months ago, the Pennsylvania DEP has yet to make a decision whether or not to increase lead pollution from NGC. Please tell them (again) that increasing lead pollution is a clearly dangerous proposition. DEP actually approached NGC about this lead increase and callously refers to the proposed limit as necessary, “just in case, they do have an overrun, they have room to work with.” DEP should be working on ways to improve Pennsylvania’s air quality instead of making it easier for coal-waste and tire-derived-fuel power plants to emit toxic heavy metals.