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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 17, 2018 02:35 PM
From: Senator Judith L. Schwank
To: All Senate members
Subject: Water resource protection
In the near future, I will reintroduce SB 1017 from the previous session, the Pipeline Water Resources Protection Act.
The growth of the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania has significantly impacted our economy and environment, but new pipeline construction also has resulted in contamination to public and private water supplies and reduced or lost water flow from them.
Pipeline operators and owners have accepted responsibility in some of these cases, but there have been numerous reports, including in my district, of others who have failed to remedy the damage in a timely manner and have left people struggling with unsafe and inadequate water supplies.
My legislation is modeled on existing oil- and gas-drilling regulations and would impose a rebuttable presumption of liability on owners and operators of pipelines under state jurisdiction when pollution, diminution, or loss of water occurs at a public or private water supply, including wells, within 2500 feet of the pipeline. An operator presumed to be responsible for harming a public or private water supply would be required to restore or replace the quantity and quality of the supply if it does not successfully rebut the presumption.
Please join me in sponsoring this important legislation. Co-sponsors last session included Senators Tartagline, Dinniman, Costa, Hughes, Aument and Mensch.

Introduced as SB40