FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mundy seeks protection from drilling-related mishaps; industry transparency
HARRISBURG, Feb. 21 – State Rep. Phyllis Mundy, D-Kingston, has introduced a package of legislation to protect Pennsylvania from Marcellus Shale drilling accidents and to make the industry more open and accountable.
House Bill 800 would prohibit Marcellus Shale drilling within 2,500 feet of any community's primary source of water and prohibit the Department of Environmental Protection from waiving the restriction. It also would prohibit DEP from waiving current drilling distance restrictions for other bodies of water such as springs, wetlands and streams.
Mundy said the legislation would help protect the Huntsville and Ceasetown reservoirs in her legislative district, which are drinking water sources for about 100,000 people.
"Contamination of either of them would be a serious public health crisis," Mundy said.
Mundy also wants to strengthen safety requirements for the transportation of waste from natural gas drilling. She has introduced H.B. 799 which would legally classify hydraulic fracturing waste as hazardous under the state's Vehicle Code.
"The classification as a hazardous waste would require drivers of fracking waste transport trucks to be held to the highest standard possible, and ensure the proper labeling of trucks to alert the public and our first responders of truck contents in case of an accident," Mundy said.
Mundy also has introduced two pieces of legislation in an effort to make the drilling industry more transparent.
House Bill 801 would create an online tracking and reporting system for Marcellus Shale waste, such as drilling mud and chemically treated water used to fracture shale to release gas. It would require drillers to report the amount of waste generated by their wells and the facilities that accept the waste for disposal, treatment or reuse. The information would be posted on the DEP website.
House Resolution 106 would urge Congress to close the “Halliburton loophole,” which exempts the oil and natural gas industries from federal Safe Drinking Water Act requirements. If the loophole is closed, Mundy said, drilling companies would have to comply with safeguards included in the act for drilling operations near drinking water sources. The legislation also would urge Congress to require the industry to disclose chemicals used in fracking in a medical emergency.
CONTACT: Bob Laylo