|Posted:||March 5, 2021 12:47 PM|
|From:||Representative Scott Conklin|
|To:||All House members|
|Environmental violations occur every day in Pennsylvania and cost thousands, if not millions, of dollars to clean up. These costs can even run into the billions if they are left unreported over longer periods of time. Unreported violations also have the potential to affect the lives of every man, woman and child in the Commonwealth, as well as the viability of Pennsylvania’s agriculture and wildlife. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Oil and Gas reporting website, oil and gas operators in the state have amassed 20,942 violations in the past decade and the numbers are even higher when accounting for suspected violations that were never reported.
Suspected, yet unreported, violations concern me the most, because they have the potential to do the most harm. The number one reason why suspected violations are not reported is because citizens say that they were not sure who to contact regarding the suspected violation. So, they simply just did not report at all. As a result, numerous suspected violations have gone unreported until the violation has caused considerable and irrevocable damage to the environment and the community.
Currently, DEP provides telephone numbers for the reporting of emergencies and general environmental violations. However, there is not a singular, easily accessible telephone number that may be utilized by Pennsylvania residents to report suspected violations of oil and gas laws, related to the extraction of oil and natural gas. It is for this reason that I am proposing that the DEP establish a telephone hotline number, 1-855-CALL-4GAS, through which any suspected oil or gas violation could be reported.
This legislation is key to doing everything possible to ensure that Pennsylvania residents and environments are kept clean and safe. Please join me in supporting this legislation.
This legislation was previously introduced as House Bill 817 of the 2019-2020 legislative session.