The following bills, which have been introduced previously, have been acted upon by the General Assembly since the last Legislative Activity Update:

PA Senate Bill 279 – Pennsylvania Grade Crude Development Advisory Council Act

Sponsor: Scott E. Hutchinson (Republican – Clarion, Forest, Venango, and parts of Butler and Warren Counties [northwest Pennsylvania]; member of the Environmental Resources & Energy Committee)
Overview: Establishes the named Council and provides for its tasks:

  • Study and recommend technical regulations and policies that impact the conventional oil and gas industry;
  • Explore the development of a regulatory scheme for oversight and enforcement of the conventional oil and gas industry;
  • Promote long-term viability of conventional oil and gas industry;;
  • Issue a report of findings and recommendations, within 180 days of effective date of Act, to listed state officers;
  • Assist Secretary of Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) and provide written comments on new DEP policy that will impact conventional oil and gas industry;
  • Review and comment on all technical regulations under Oil and Gas Act;
  • Provide institutional support to conventional oil and gas industry;
  • Recommend measures to promote and develop conventional oil and gas industry;
  • Develop plan to increase PA grade crude production;
  • Develop joint working group with DEP to explore and develop economically viable production water management options; and
  • Produce annual report of activities and recommendations.

Provides 2 duties to DEP:

  • Consult with Council on all policies/technical regulations promulgated under Oil and Gas Act;
  • Include written comments of the Council as part of submission to Environmental Quality Board; and
  • Provide technical assistance to Council to enable Council to carry out duties.
Amendments: Printer’s Number 0444:

Adds Secretary of Environmental Protection to list of recipients of annual report produced by Council.

Printer’s Number 1903:

Abrogates the revisions promulgated by the Department of Environmental Protection to the Chapter 78 regulations concerning oil and gas operations as those proposes revisions relate to conventional oil and gas wells.

Requires that any future rulemaking involving conventional oil and gas operations be “undertaken separately and independently of unconventional wells” and include a regulatory analysis form submitted to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission that is restricted to the subject of conventional oil and gas wells.

Current Status: Printer’s Number 0444 passed by the Senate Committee on Appropriations on February 17, 2015.

Printer’s Number 0444 passed unanimously by Senate on February 18, 2015.

Printer’s Number 1903 reported (18 to 5) by the House Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy on June 8, 2016.

Printer’s Number 1903 passed by the House of Representatives (141 to 46) on June 15, 2016.

Printer’s Number 1903 passed by Senate (37 to 12) on June 15, 2016.

 

PA Senate Bill 1195 – Amendment to Pennsylvania Greenhouse Gas Regulation Implementation Act

Sponsor: Donald C. White (Republican – Armstrong and Indiana Counties and parts of Butler and Westmoreland Counties [outside Pittsburgh])
Overview: Amends Pennsylvania Greenhouse Gas Regulation Implementation Act to require greater time period for legislative review and approval of state plan prior to submission to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
Amendments: Printer’s Number 1899:  Reduces from 180 to 100 calendar days the time period to submit state plan for legislative review.  Other minor changes.

Printer’s Number 1929:  Minor typographical changes.

Current Status: Printer’s Number 1899 passed by Senate (41 to 9) on June 8, 2016.

Printer’s Number 1929 passed by House of Representatives (147 to 41) on June 15, 2016.

Printer’s Number 1929 passed by Senate (38 to 11) on June 15, 2016.

The following resolution has been introduced since the last Legislative Activity Update:

PA Senate Resolution 385 – Environmental Law and Regulation Review
Sponsor: Michele Brooks (Republican – Crawford and Mercer Counties and parts of Erie and Warren Counties [northwest Pennsylvania])
Overview: Directs the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study to analyze and identify which state environmental laws and regulations are more stringent than required by federal law.
Current Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy on June 6, 2016.