Released February 15, 2018, a new analysis by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) finds methane emissions from Pennsylvanian’s oil and gas sites may be more than five times higher than what companies report to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and that emissions of volatile organic compounds may be 9 times higher.  This report leaves no doubt: Pennsylvania’s problem with air pollution from the oil and gas industry is serious and it’s much worse than we thought.

Pennsylvania is the second largest natural gas producing state in the nation. While invisible to the human eye, methane pollution leaks at almost every stage of the oil and gas supply chain. Methane carries with it a range of other harmful pollutants that cause residents who live near gas operations, as well as downwind, asthma, heart and lung disease, threats to pregnancy and more. In addition to damaging the health of our communities, methane is a potent greenhouse gas with 86 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide in the first 20 years after its release into the atmosphere.

DEP publishes an annual emissions inventory of the oil and gas industry, measuring methane and the pollution leaked alongside it. This inventory relies on data self-reported by the industry.  Inventory data is based on modeling and estimates, given the equipment at a particular facility, but it does not account for all sources. Even though the most recent year of inventory data (2015) shows that methane emissions continue to rise in Pennsylvania, the gas industry and its lawmaker allies continue to oppose commonsense methane standards.

EDF’s comprehensive analysis combines both top-down measurements across entire natural gas sites and equipment-level measurements to provide an accurate, detailed estimate of methane emissions in Pennsylvania. The report shows that conventional wells are actually responsible for even higher methane emissions than the unconventional sector. DEP’s inventory currently reflects only emission estimates from unconventional natural gas facilities, with no reporting required from conventional sources.  

In addition to EDF’s analysis, an online toolkit was released that allows users to view oil and gas air pollution in their county, as well as information about nearby infrastructure. This critical information illustrates the impact of methane pollution on a local scale. Users can compare and model pollution control tactics based on real methane controls that other states have implemented to reduce pollution. The online toolkit’s simulations demonstrate the urgency for elected officials to get serious about protecting Pennsylvania’s air quality.

EDF’s analysis underscores the need for Governor Tom Wolf and the DEP to adopt commonsense methane pollution standards. With the Trump administration rolling back federal standards, now is the time for the governor to step up and reduce air pollution from the oil and gas industry.  EDF’s analysis concludes that Pennsylvania can reduce 60% of industry’s methane emissions. Governor Wolf promised to control methane emissions from the oil and gas industry over three years ago. We cannot wait any longer. DEP must finalize and publish its new source methane permits without delay and then must immediately turn to addressing the crisis of existing source pollution.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Governor Wolf it is time to cut methane pollution in Pennsylvania.

To read the full EDF report and access the online toolkit, visit edf.org/PennsylvaniaMethane.

 

Today, Clean Air Council on behalf of 7000 contributors and 35,000 activists across Pennsylvania launched a new campaign imploring Gov. Wolf to step up and start to lead by taking action on climate. The effort kicks off with digital ads on multiple news sites and an online grassroots petition.

Dangerous weather is brewing. The major uptick in extreme weather events is a clear sign that the climate is changing at a rapid pace.  Recently, Americans experienced the bitter cold of the “bomb cyclone” in the East, a massive winter wildfire outside of Los Angeles, and unusually low western snowpack.  Just last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that 2017 was the third hottest year on record (only slightly behind 2015 and 2016).

Now, the Trump Administration is aggressively rolling back vital protections to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector and carbon emissions from the power sector – while beginning the process to undermine required emission reductions in the transportation sector as well.

The case for strong state action has never been clearer.

Without strong action from Gov. Tom Wolf, the massive amounts of climate-changing pollution, both methane and carbon dioxide, spewing from Pennsylvania’s vast energy infrastructure could go unchecked. Governors, mayors, and major corporations across the country are voicing their commitment to meet ambitious climate goals— yet the state of Pennsylvania, the 3rd largest greenhouse gas polluter in the nation with tens of thousands of active oil and gas wells and dozens of coal-fired power plants, is missing in action.

Thankfully, our local elected officials are stepping up to protect Pennsylvania communities. The mayors of Allentown, Ambler, Bethlehem, Downington, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, State College and Swarthmore have all pledged to work to secure the pollution reductions committed to under the Paris Climate Agreement.

And just today, Pennsylvania Sens. Jay Costa and Wayne Fontana from Pittsburgh stepped up with a bold vision for action, introducing legislation directing the state to take concrete actions to secure meaningful reductions in carbon pollution and to achieve ambitious economy-wide climate goals. 

Unfortunately, Gov. Tom Wolf has failed to lead on climate change. It is time to change that.

During his initial 2014 run for office, Gov. Wolf acknowledged that tackling methane emissions from oil and gas operations was critical to our environment. And just one year into his administration, he pledged to cut methane emissions from new and existing drilling operations across the state.

Fast forward to today, and we are still waiting for Gov. Wolf to introduce a proposal that would limit emissions from tens of thousands of oil and gas wells that operate today that put the health of our communities at risk.  Not only is methane a powerful climate change pollutant, but these drilling operations release smog-forming pollutants that pollute the air we breathe. Cutting methane would address climate change and protect our health by helping to reduce the rate of asthma and other respiratory diseases.

Gov. Wolf also vowed to limit carbon pollution from Pennsylvania’s power sector, clearly indicating on the campaign trail that he supported working with other states to clean up our air and secure our climate. Despite this promise, and in stark contrast to bold action taken in nearby Virginia to reduce carbon pollution from the state’s power plants, Gov. Wolf has again failed to lead.

With federal policies now in shambles, inaction is no longer an option for Pennsylvanians.  By not acting, Governor Wolf is putting the health and welfare of Pennsylvania communities in the hands of Washington climate change denying bureaucrats and industry lobbyists – that is unacceptable.

That is why the Clean Air Council has launched a campaign calling on Gov. Wolf to lead and act on climate change.

Governor Wolf  can and should fulfill two long overdue promises made to Pennsylvania voters during his last campaign by moving forward to:

  • cut methane pollution from existing oil and gas operations; and
  • set a hard limit on carbon pollution from Pennsylvania’s power sector.

He had it right back in 2014—put Pennsylvania in the driver’s seat by moving ahead with ambitious policies to tackle two significant sources of climate pollution in the Commonwealth. Inaction is no longer an option.

Pennsylvanians deserve better—real leadership on a deeply urgent problem.

Want to help? Sign our petition telling Gov. Wolf to act now on climate change.

 

Last month, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) announced its plan to reduce air pollution from existing oil and natural gas facilities in the Commonwealth.  Pennsylvanians had been waiting for this critical step for almost two years, which made it all the more frustrating to see that DEP’s plan was essentially a carbon copy of 2016 federal guidelines and recommendations.  Those guidelines – referred to as Control Techniques Guidelines or CTGs – represent the national floor and would exclude a significant number of air pollution sources in Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry.  However, shortly after DEP put forward its proposal, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced his intent to seek public comment on withdrawing the CTGs in their entirety.  With the Trump administration continuing to roll back pollution standards, Governor Wolf cannot rely on federal rules to protect our air, health, or climate.  He must ensure that Pennsylvania takes full responsibility for its own public health and clean air protections.

Pennsylvania is the second largest producer of natural gas in the country. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, leaks at almost every stage of the natural gas supply chain. Methane carries with it a range of other harmful pollutants, which pose an unnecessary health risk to residents who live near gas operations, as well as downwind residents across the state.  In 2015, the most recent year with available records, the natural gas industry’s own self-reported data showed the industry emitted over 112,000 tons of methane into Pennsylvania’s air – an increase from 2014.  That is equivalent to emitting over 9.6 million tons of CO2 over a 20-year timeline.  It also equals the annual greenhouse gas emissions from over 540,000 passenger vehicles. Meanwhile, top-down studies that actually measure the methane content in the air show that emissions are even higher.  Controlling methane pollution is a straightforward, cost-effective way to cut harmful pollution, reduce greenhouse gases, and create jobs in the methane mitigation industry.

Governor Wolf promised to control methane emissions from oil and gas activities during his 2014 campaign.  Once in office, in January 2016, the governor announced a multi-step plan designed to fulfill his campaign promise, which included a commitment to develop a regulation on existing sources.  To this day, Pennsylvania still does not have any standards that target methane emissions directly from the oil and gas industry.

Governor Wolf has a real opportunity to be the leader Pennsylvania needs right now.  He can act to fulfill his commitments and ensure that Pennsylvania has strong, sensible, and effective policies.  Pennsylvania’s rules must be broader in scope and more stringent than the requirements found in the federal guidelines (CTGs), which are likely to disappear.  We cannot leave the health and safety of our communities and environment in the hands of the Trump administration.  We need Governor Wolf to get serious about protecting Pennsylvania’s air quality by adopting a rule that cuts methane and harmful air pollution from existing oil and gas operations in the Commonwealth.

Sign our petition to tell Governor Wolf it is time to cut methane.

 

Clean Air Council and partners Moms Clean Air Force, Clean Water Action, and Earthworks joined residents affected by natural gas operations and a Harrisburg-area physician to speak at a press conference and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) air quality committee meeting. 

Clean Air Council Attorney Robert Routh reads his public comments during the press conference

Members from Clean Air Council and their partners spoke on the steps of the Rachel Carson State Office Building, just a few blocks from Governor Wolf’s office. You can watch excerpts from the press conference below.

The comments were a continuation of advocacy that has spanned three years urging Governor Wolf to fulfill his campaign promises on methane controls for the natural gas industry.  At the meeting, the DEP presented the final draft of permits to control methane pollution from new and modified natural gas operations.

The Department also presented concepts to control volatile organic compounds from existing natural gas operations, which are the bare minimum they are required to do under federal guidelines. You can read the full press release here.

For Immediate Release

[September 12, 2017 – Harrisburg, PA] – As the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives returns to session to consider revenue packages for the state budget, environmental leaders gathered with local citizens in the Capitol on Tuesday to deliver a message: the proposed budget is a raw deal for all Pennsylvanians. The current plan presents unprecedented changes to environmental protections amid riders that would compromise air quality, water quality and public health.

The groups slammed the use of revenue-related budget bills to pass industry-friendly policies that could never stand on their own merit, a form of legislative overreach that is becoming an annual tradition in Harrisburg. Further, the groups highlighted the 1700 comments generated from Pennsylvania residents, directed to the legislature and Governor Wolf, opposing passage of a budget that continues to include ill-advised riders.

The Tax Code Bill (HB 542), passed by the Pennsylvania Senate and supported by Governor Tom Wolf, includes provisions that would create a new Air Quality Permit Advisory Committee to approve any air quality permits meant to regulate emissions from oil and gas operations, marking the first time in history a legislatively-dominated body would have veto authority over any environmental regulation or permit.

The bill also includes a rider that would allow the oil and gas industry to hand pick their own third-party, fee-for-hire agents to review and approve their permit applications if the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) doesn’t do so within a set time frame.

“The Pennsylvania Senate’s ill-advised provisions in the budget bills would be devastating to our air and water across the state,” said Matt Walker, Community Outreach Director with Clean Air Council. “Pennsylvania families who live near shale gas facilities are already forced to breathe harmful methane pollution and deal with other negative impacts of the industry – these provisions would only add insult to injury. Our group of environmental organizations, collectively representing nearly a million Pennsylvanians, are calling on the Pennsylvania legislature and Governor Wolf to protect Pennsylvania families by passing a clean budget and rejecting any budget deal that contains environmental riders that put our air and water at risk.”

“As a mother of two young boys living in heavily fracked Butler County, I know there is no justification to trade away the only public health protections Pennsylvania’s children have from natural gas pollution in a bad budget deal,” said Patrice Tomcik, Organizer for Moms Clean Air Force. “This bad budget deal has a plan to replace air experts at the Department of Environmental Protection with a committee of political appointees, stacked in favor of the oil and gas industry that would reduce the Department’s ability to oversee the natural gas industry. In other words, this plan would give industry a free pass to pollute and sicken our children.”

“The Pennsylvania Senate’s willingness to put the future of our air and water in the oil and gas industry’s hands, with the support of Gov. Wolf, is unnecessary and unacceptable,” said Sarah Martik of the Center for Coalfield Justice.  “We absolutely cannot afford to give oil and gas companies the ability to hire their own third parties to issue permits. The permitting process is one of the few ways a community has a voice to speak out and be heard on projects that threaten their health and homes.  If the industry wants permits to be issued more quickly, they should support a budget that fully funds the Department of Environmental Protection.”

Riders jammed into in the Administrative Code Bill (HB 118) also drew the ire of the environmental groups. These riders included allowing wastewater treatment facilities to continue accepting and discharging conventional oil and gas drilling wastewater under long-expired permits, and restricting DEP’s ability to implement a water quality standard for manganese, a toxic metal.

“Every year over 100 million gallons of conventional gas wastewater, which contains heavy metals such as arsenic, a variety of hazardous chemicals, radionuclides, and high levels of salts, is still discharged to rivers and streams, particularly impacting the Allegheny River,” said Myron Arnowitt of Clean Water Action. “It’s disgraceful to allow these facilities to continue to pollute our waterways by letting them operate under weaker standards in violation of an EPA order and the Clean Water Act.”

“Pennsylvania legislators are once again attempting to brazenly throw our families, farms,  health and environment under the bus, this time by using the budget process to limit water quality protections for our streams and rivers from manganese, a toxic metal,” said Faith Zerbe, Delaware Riverkeeper Network. “It is time our elected officials get the message that it’s not okay to infringe on our Constitutional Rights under Article 1, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution just to give more gifts to the drillers and coal industry that repeatedly wound our community, forests, streams and drinking water.”

The event was sponsored by Clean Air Council, Clean Water Action, Center for Coalfield Justice, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Environmental Defense Fund, Moms Clean Air Force, Mountain Watershed Association, National Resources Defense Council, PennFuture, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Sierra Club.  

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Contacts:

Katie Edwards, Clean Air Council, 609-432-0129;  kedwards@cleanair.org

Myron Arnowitt, Clean Water Action; 412-592-1283; marnowitt@cleanwater.org

 Tell the Pennsylvania General Assembly that clean air and clean water are not for sale. 

On July 27, 2017, the Pennsylvania Senate approved a revenue package that will further decimate the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), threatening public health and damaging our environment in the process. By the slimmest of margins, the Senate voted 26-24 to adopt amendments to the Tax Code bill – House Bill 542 – which does achieve one of Governor Wolf’s long-sought goals, a severance tax on the extraction of natural gas from unconventional wells. On its own, this is a worthy policy goal. However, in exchange for what amounts to a paltry revenue increase, the Senate approved a series of environmental riders wanted by industry groups that gut DEP’s ability to act in the public interest. This is unacceptable; the state budget is not the place to debate critical protections for our air, water, and public health. DEP’s budget has already been slashed by 40 percent over the last 13 years – resulting in the loss of over 22 percent of its staff – and HB 542 would undermine DEP’s authority going forward and pose an immediate threat to Governor Wolf’s proposed commonsense controls on methane pollution.

In February, DEP published proposed general permits (GP-5 and GP-5A) that would establish cost-effective controls on methane pollution from new sources in the unconventional natural gas industry. These permits will protect public health, the environment, and Pennsylvania’s economy. Following extensive input from stakeholders and members of the public, the 120-day public comment period on the permits closed on June 5. While DEP is currently working to finalize the permits, HB 542 would allow the General Assembly to unilaterally weaken or eliminate them. Instead of working with the agency or going through the standard legislative process, this bill would create a new “Air Quality Permit Advisory Committee” – dominated by members handpicked by the legislature – that would have ultimate authority to approve (or disapprove) the permits once finalized. The bill prohibits DEP from submitting the permits to this “Committee” before 2018 and would allow industry-backed lawmakers to effectively veto these much-needed commonsense protections. This unprecedented hurdle to environmental protection is not grounded in science or designed to protect public health, it’s a transparent political game to benefit the gas industry.

Another amendment to the bill directs DEP to establish a program for third-party review of any permits issued by the agency, effectively privatizing the oil and gas permitting process in the Commonwealth. DEP would be required to contract with third-party permit reviewers, and the bill’s language includes no provisions for any supervision of these individuals or for accountability. Disturbingly, there are no conflict-of-interest provisions in the bill and permit applicants are allowed to handpick their own reviewer among those contracted with DEP. That means there is nothing to prevent a consultant from reviewing his own application. Furthermore, there are no provisions dealing with public participation, meaning there is no guarantee that third-parties handling permit applications will hold a public hearing or allow for public comment. This ill-advised approach will cede our public servants’ responsibility to protect public health and the environment to unaccountable private interests. It will undermine the integrity of the permit review process while limiting public participation and allowing for rampant self-dealing.

Finally, there is a provision stating that any permit for unconventional oil and gas development is simply “deemed approved” unless DEP denies it within the relevant timeframe (which varies from 30 to 45 to 60 days depending on the situation). Even if the relevant review period is extended for cause, this provision would require that DEP refund the permit review fee to the applicant. This radical approach puts the burden on DEP – intentionally underfunded and understaffed – to rush its permit review process and allows for the automatic approval of permits that have not been subject to appropriate agency review or public scrutiny.

Put it all together, and it is clear that HB 542 is a direct assault on Pennsylvania citizens’ fundamental, constitutionally-protected rights to clean air and pure water. Rolling back environmental and public health protections won’t balance the budget – all it does is give drillers a license to pollute. Governor Wolf has political concerns over his reelection and, in his single-minded pursuit of a severance tax, he has cut a bad deal for the people of the Commonwealth that needlessly trades away clean air and water protections. This deal should be rejected as an affront to our fundamental rights and to responsible stewardship of our public natural resources.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 10, 2017) – Clean Air Council was in Washington D.C. today to continue arguing against Trump Administration efforts to roll back public health and climate protections just one week after winning a major legal victory with other environmental organizations against Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt.  

Administrator Pruitt is insistent on suspending these protections despite admitting that a two-year delay would have a disproportionate impact on children’s health,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Executive Director and Chief Counsel of Clean Air Council.  “Delaying these important rules would jeopardize the health of Pennsylvanians living near 836 wells now covered by the rules as a result of the court’s decision last week allowing the rule to be implemented.  Oil and gas pollution contributes to over 30,000 asthma attacks each year in Pennsylvania and some of the chemicals released with methane (benzene, for example), are known human carcinogens.”

On Monday, July 3rd, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C Circuit reinstated oil and gas methane pollution standards that had been suspended before implementation at the beginning of June.  In a 2-1 decision in Clean Air Council, et al. v. Scott Pruitt, the Court found that Pruitt had no authority to stay the rules.  Oil and gas operators must now comply with the standard, including the essential methane leak detection and repair (LDAR) requirements.

“We won in the courts on the 90-day delay of the rules, but we now need to continue to defend public health and air quality as EPA recklessly attempts to institute a longer and more harmful two-year suspension of these same protections,” said Minott.

However, today, the EPA held a public hearing on Pruitt’s second attempt to stop these protections- a proposed two-year stay of these very same rules.  Nearly 20 impacted community members and faith leaders from Pennsylvania testified during the hearing.  They were joined by impacted people from around the country who traveled to Washington with the same message: public health for all must be prioritized over profit for a few.

“We are a family living in the epicenter of Marcellus Shale drilling,” said Jane Worthington, a mother of two from Mount Pleasant, PA that testified at Monday’s hearing. “We are not living the ‘dream,’ but are living in fear as we watch our friends and neighbors develop cancer.  Our benzene-exposed daughter has to carry a personal air monitor that goes off while she is at school because it is surrounded by gas sites.  There are 22 wells within 1/2 mile of our school. Six of these wells are being fracked as we speak and only 0.7 miles away from the school. We are extremely worried about being exposed to harmful pollution from the gas industry. “

The oil and gas industry is the leading industrial source of methane pollution, a greenhouse gas that is over 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide on a 20-year timescale. Recently released data that was self-reported by the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania showed methane emissions were up 28% between 2014 and 2015 while production only rose 12%.

 

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Clean Air Council is a member- supported, non-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting everyone’s right to breathe clean air. The Council is headquartered in Philadelphia and works through public education, community advocacy, and government oversight to ensure enforcement of environmental laws. For more information, please visit www.cleanair.org.

 

Contact: Katie Edwards, Clean Air Council

kedwards@cleanair.org, 215-567-4004 x102

(June 20, 2017) – Pennsylvania elected officials held a hearing Tuesday morning to discuss regulatory oversight in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Representatives from oil and gas, manufacturing, finance, and environmental advocates testified before the panel. Environmental standards and regulations, specifically methane protections, were discussed by a number of panelists including PennFuture and Range Resources. In response, Joseph Otis Minott, Esq., Executive Director and Chief Counsel of the Clean Air Council, released the following statement:

 

“The oil and gas industry openly admitted that they are not looking for “regulatory relief” but want DEP to address delays in issuing permits. This is directly related to DEP not having enough funding to properly do their job, not about regulations that would drastically cut air pollution.”

 

About Clean Air Council

Clean Air Council is Pennsylvania’s oldest member-supported environmental nonprofit, fighting for everyone’s right to breathe clean air since 1967. Through research, public education and advocacy, the Council empowers citizens to fight for policies and practices that create healthier communities and a healthier environment. Clean Air Council believes everyone has a right to breathe clean air. For more information about Clean Air Council, visit www.cleanair.org.

Contact

Katie Edwards – kedwards@cleanair.org, 215-567-4004, ext. 102

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 16, 2017) –  On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it would seek a two-year suspension of leak detection and repair standards on the oil and gas industry.  In a Federal Register notice Wednesday, the Bureau of Land Management announced a suspension of the implementation of key protections that reduce harmful methane pollution emissions from oil and gas facilities on public lands.  These delays on the EPA’s standards, and their possible subsequent rollback, would affect 800 wells across Pennsylvania–creating more than 500 tons of methane pollution and 140 more tons of smog-forming and health-threatening toxic chemicals in our air.   In response, Joseph Otis Minott, Esq., Executive Director and Chief Counsel of the Clean Air Council, released the following statement:

“President Trump and his EPA are sending a very clear message that they care more about protecting polluters than people.  As the second largest producer of natural gas, Pennsylvania has new wells drilled each and every day that will no longer need to comply with basic, common sense clean air protections.  This unreasonable delay is happening at a time when self-reported industry data show emissions have increased in the Commonwealth nearly 30% in recent years.  Today more than ever before, with a constant bombardment against national protections, Governor Wolf needs to honor his commitment to address methane pollution from natural gas facilities now”

About Clean Air Council

Clean Air Council is Pennsylvania’s oldest member-supported environmental nonprofit, fighting for everyone’s right to breathe clean air since 1967. Through research, public education and advocacy, the Council empowers citizens to fight for policies and practices that create healthier communities and a healthier environment. Clean Air Council believes everyone has a right to breathe clean air. For more information about Clean Air Council, visit www.cleanair.org.

PENNSYLVANIA, April 26, 2017 – From Scranton to Pittsburgh, impacted Pennsylvania residents held a number of coordinated press conferences and actions across the state to hold Governor Wolf accountable to his promise of regulating methane and harmful air pollution from existing oil and gas industry operations. Demonstrations and meetings occurred in Harrisburg and all of Wolf’s four regional offices. Everywhere methane leaks, it is accompanied by other harmful air pollutants. Pennsylvania is the second largest producer of natural gas and is responsible for emitting over 100,000 tons of hazardous toxic air pollution per year from the oil and gas industry.  

“It’s been a year and a half since the Governor announced his plan to address methane pollution, said Joseph Otis Minott, Esq., Clean Air Council’s Executive Director and Chief Counsel. “While Pennsylvanians continue to breathe unhealthy air, the Governor is already taking credit for implementing methane standards that have yet to be finalized. DEP released draft standards for addressing methane pollution from new oil and gas operations earlier this year, but Governor Wolf has still not made good on his promise to regulate the operations that currently pollute the air – and has yet to even propose them. The public needs and deserves these protections and we will hold the Governor accountable until he implements them.”

“People like myself and my family, living in the shalefields, would like to thank Governor Wolf for proposing his plan to cut methane,” said Lois Bower-Bjornson of Scenery Hill, PA. “However, we still must forge ahead on much-needed protections for existing operations. Each day that goes by without these protections is another day that I worry about my family’s health and exposure to harmful pollution.”

Residents affected by natural gas operations were outraged by a recent Wolf Facebook Live Town Hall where the Governor claimed to have instituted methane emissions standards, when residents say there has been no action to date on proposing and finalizing a regulation on existing sources, the most critical part of Wolf’s methane reduction plan. In Pittsburgh, residents participating in the action collected air pollution samples from near their homes and released it outside of the Governor’s office, bringing the pollution directly to him until he regulates it.  Residents in Scranton met with Wolf Administration staff from the regional office, held an educational event, staged a demonstration with signs, and wrote letters to local papers and comments to the Department of Environment Protection calling for more action to cut methane. Advocates also came to Wolf’s offices in Harrisburg, Erie and Philadelphia to share materials demonstrating strong support from across the state for strong air pollution standards.

About Clean Air Council:

Clean Air Council is Pennsylvania’s oldest member-supported environmental nonprofit, fighting for everyone’s right to breath clean air since 1967. Through research, public education and advocacy, the Council empowers citizens to fight for policies and practices that create healthier communities and a healthier planet. Clean Air Council believes everyone has a right to breathe clean air, and we all have a role to play. For more information about Clean Air Council, visit www.cleanair.org.

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