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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: January 23, 2015 02:23 PM
From: Senator Patricia H. Vance
To: All Senate members
Subject: Memo #7 - Water Well Construction & Decommissioning Standards
In the near future, I will reintroduce SB 1461 from the previous Session. The legislation will create new statewide standards for water well construction and the decommissioning of abandoned water wells.

As you may know, Pennsylvania is one of but a few states that does not have a statewide standard for the construction of water wells. Currently, we only require water well drillers to register with the DCNR under the Water Well Drillers License Act of 1956. Nothing in this Act or under any law or regulation under the DEP provides uniform construction standards. A handful of individual counties have adopted standards. Thousands of new water wells are drilled each year and millions of people rely on private wells for drinking water. The time has come for the state to create a set of standards that will protect the consumer and our water resources.

Statutory authority will be granted to the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to establish water well construction standards through the adoption of rules and regulations under oversight of the DEP. The construction standards will be generally consistent with those created by the National Groundwater Association. These standards served as the model for most states.

This legislation will NOT apply to 1) subsurface mineral operations (oil, gas, mining, quarrying) or 2) public water systems regulated under the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act.

Furthermore, the legislation prohibits any state agency from 1) requiring a permit to construct or decommission a water well or 2) metering, charging, taxing, or imposing a fee for the use of water from private wells.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB653