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Environmental Resources & Energy 2021-2022

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on Tuesday, October 25, 2022 and reported out the following legislation:

Nomination of Sarah Clark to the Environmental Hearing Board

  • Unanimous support for a Favorable recommendation from the committee

SB 1338 (Yaw, Martin) – An Act amending the act of July 10, 2008 (P.L.1009, No.78), known as the Biofuel Development and In-State Production Incentive Act, further providing for short title of act and for definitions; providing for low emission transportation fuel incentive and for registration and other requirements; and further providing for department authority and responsibility and for infrastructure reports.

  • The bill was reported as committed by a vote of 8-3. Senator Comitta, Muth, and Santarsiero voting in the negative.

SB 1339 (Yaw, Martin) – An Act amending the act of November 29, 2004 (P.L.1376, No.178), known as the Alternative Fuels Incentive Act, further providing for title of act, for short title of act, for definitions and for Alternative Fuels Incentive Fund; repealing provisions relating to biomass-based diesel production incentives; further providing for annual report; and repealing provisions relating to interfund transfer.

  • The bill was reported as committed by a vote of 8-3. Senator Comitta, Muth, and Santarsiero voting in the negative.

HB2528 (Struzzi) – An Act amending Title 58 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in oil and gas well plugging oversight, further providing for allocation of funding, for establishment of Oil and Gas Well Plugging Grant Program, for grants, for eligible wells, for qualified well plugger and for applications and review process; in development, further providing for well plugging funds and providing for well plugging contracts; and making editorial changes.

  • A05827 (Yaw): 
    • Amends Title 58 (Oil and Gas) Chapter 28.  Oil and Gas Well Plugging Oversight to comply with federal requirements as outlined in the Orphaned Well Site Plugging, Remediation and Restoration Program under section 40601 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act; Increases grant amounts from $10,000 (for wells 3,000 feet or less) to $40,000, or the actual cost to plug the well, whichever is less;
    • Increases grant amounts from $20,000 (for wells greater than 3,000 feet) to $70,000, or the actual cost to plug the well, whichever is less; Sets publication requirements for awarding of grant funding;
    • Ensures well plugger compliance if they demonstrate access to the equipment, materials, resources and services to plug wells in accordance with Chapter 32, Section 3220; Addresses continuing violations and ensures that a well plugging applicant takes corrective action to the satisfaction of the Department; shall not apply to an applicant who has committed a violation until the Department has taken the final action on the violation and the applicant has not appealed the final action. If an appeal has been filed, no supersedeas has been issued;
    • Includes an attestation that the qualified well plugger will provide documentation necessary for the Department in order to comply with the requirements, as well as an attestation that each well is plugged in accordance with the plugging requirements as outlined in Title 58; Allows for additional grant awards as available by the Department;
    • Allows any Pennsylvania company to bid for a contract it will award for plugging oil and gas wells, regardless of the size of the company; A Pennsylvania company is defined as a business entity which has its main offices or headquarters located within Pennsylvania and conducts at least 50% of its business activities within Pennsylvania; or will bid for state contracts for plugging oil or gas wells and subcontract the work to subcontractors selected through a competitive bidding process which satisfy the criteria in the first bullet point when possible;
  • The bill and amendment were reported out of the committee with a unanimous vote. 

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 and reported out the following legislation:

SB 1331 (Yaw): Prohibits counties that ban natural gas development from receiving county share of Impact Fee/ MLF drilling funds.

  • Reported from committee with a vote of 8-3, Sens. Comitta, Muth, and Santarsiero voting in the negative.

HB 2367 (Mako): Limits the issuance of permits for the construction or installation of wind turbines that negatively affect military installations.

  • Reported from committee with a vote of 9-2, Sens. Comitta and Muth voting in the negative.

HB 2404 (Owlett): Amends the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act to create a continuous maintenance permit.

  • Reported from committee with a vote of 8-3, Sens. Comitta, Muth, and Santarsiero voting in the negative. 

HB 2405 (Pickett): Amends the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act to provide for county programs for the removal of obstructions and flood-related hazards on streams. 

  • A05557 (Yaw): amends the legislation to add a section for “County conservation district stream reconstruction emergency permit authorizations.” — amendment passed unanimously
  • Reported as amended with a vote of 10-1, Sen. Muth voting in the negative.  

HB 2406 (Fritz): Amends the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act to create a small stream maintenance project permit.

  • Reported from committee with a vote of 8-3, Sens. Comitta, Muth, and Santarsiero voting in the negative. 

HB 2407 (Hamm): Amends the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act to limit Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission authority or jurisdiction related to stream maintenance or clearing activities.

  • Reported from committee with a vote of 7-4, along party lines. 

HB 2458 (White): Creates a taskforce to study the exportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to supply the energy needs of allies around the world and what obstacles are currently preventing Philadelphia from becoming a leader in exporting LNG.

  • Reported from committee with a vote of 9-2, Sens. Comitta and Muth voting in the negative. 

HB 2528 (Struzzi): Requires the Department of Environmental Protection to prioritize awarding well plugging contracts to Pennsylvania companies before considering out-of-state companies. 

  • Reported from committee with a vote of 9-2, Sens. Comitta and Muth voting in the negative. 

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 to vote on the following legislation:

A Disapproval Letter to IRRC regarding the EQB’s Manganese Final Regulation (Regulation #7-553: Water Quality Standard for Manganese)

The letter will be sent to IRRC today with only Republican members signatures, all the Democratic members voted against.


The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on Thursday, June 30, 2022 to consider the following legislation:

HB2644 (Causer): Amends Title 58 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for oil and gas well plugging oversight; in development, further providing for bonding and for well plugging funds; establishing the Oil and Gas Well Plugging Grant Program; and making a related repeal.

  • The Senate ERE Committee reported the bill out as committed by a party line vote of 7-4, all Dems voting in the negative. 

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on Monday, June 20, 2022 to consider the following legislation:

HB1780 (Armanini): Extends the sunset for the Underground Storage Tank Environmental Cleanup Program and the Underground Storage Tank Pollution Prevention Program until the end of 2027.

A04364 (Yaw): Technical amendment regarding definition.

Both HB1780 and A04364 passed the committee unanimously.


The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 to consider the following legislation:

HB 2075 (Knowles): Creates a free-standing at, the Heavy-Duty Diesel Emissions Control Program Suspension Procedure Act, to temporarily suspend a subchapter of regulations, 25 Pa. Code Ch. 126 Subch. E, which adopted and incorporated by reference California regulations for heavy-duty vehicles.

  • Reported out as committed 8-3, Sen. Boscola voting in the affirmative.

SB 692 (Bartolotta): Creates the Erosion and Sediment Control Act to ensure complete review of E&S permit applications.

  •  Reported out as committed 8-3, Sen. Boscola voting in the affirmative.

SB 1255 (Pittman): Amends PA’s Bituminous Coal Mine Safety Act to provide PA DEP’s Bureau of Mine Safety the flexibility in the schedule of maintenance for the replacement of oil and oil filter(s) on diesel-powered equipment.

  • Reported out as amended unanimously.

SR 285 (Gordner): The resolution directs the Join State Government Commission to conduct an assessment and analysis of public and private recycling infrastructure and operations across the Commonwealth.

  • A04406: changes the reporting period from 7 months to 12 months.
  • The bill and amendment were reported from committee unanimously.

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 to consider the following legislation:

SB 1038 (Stefano): Amends the Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act by requiring civil penalties collected under the Clean Streams Law, as well as any monies collected as a result of any rule, regulation or order of DEP or as a condition of any permit under the Clean Streams Law to be transferred to the Reclamation Fee O & M Trust Account.

Reported out by a 8-3 vote, with Senators Comitta, Muth, and Santarisero voting against. 

SR 229 (Dush): A resolution direction the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study of the economic, environmental, and health impacts relating to the development of the critical mineral industry in PA.

Reported out unanimously. 


The Community, Economic & Recreational Development and Environmental Resources & Energy Committees held a Joint Public Hearing on Tuesday, March 29, 2022 on Economic Impacts of RGGI

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 to consider the following bills:

HB1842 (Rep. Zimmerman)  Amends the Clean Streams Law providing for notice of spills or discharges endangering public health or environment.

       Reported out as committed 7-4, along party lines 

HB668 (Rep. James)  Adds a member to the Mining and Reclamation Advisory Board from the coal refuse energy and reclamation industry.

       Reported out as committed unanimously

SB1030 (Sen. Yaw/Langerholc)  Temporarily suspends Pennsylvania’s regulations adopting California regulations related to heavy-duty vehicle diesel controls, leaving the Federal standards to govern while the suspension is in effect. This suspension will be effective through model year 2026 vehicles and will expire as it relates to model year 2027 vehicles and future years.

       Reported out as committed 8-3, Sen. Boscola voting in the affirmative

SB945 (Sen. Yaw)This act requires the Department of General Services to sell, auction, transfer (or other disposition) at a fair market value an alternative energy credit owned, obtained, or entitled to be owned or obtained by the Commonwealth.

       Reported out as amended 7-4, along party lines

  • Amendment A03552 (Yaw) Further defines “Commonwealth” as an executive agency under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Governor. The term does not include an institution of the State System of Higher Education, a State related institution of higher education or a political subdivision.    Amendment passed 8-3, Sen. Santarisero voting in the affirmative.


The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee held a public on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 on Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery site and clean-up effort:


The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 to consider the following bills:

SB301 (Yaw): Amends the Air Pollution Control Act to change to make-up of the Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee (AQTAC).

Voted out of committee along a party line vote of 7-4. 

SB776: (Laughlin): Amends the PA Sewage Facilities Act to allow for Garage Drains.

Voted out of committee 8-3, Senators Comitta, Muth, and Santarsiero voting in the negative. 

HB598 (Oberlander): Clarify that only public entities (Commonwealth and local government) can pursue prescriptive easements for the benefit of the public.

Voted out of committee along a party line vote of 7-4.

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 to consider the following legislation:

 SB525 (Gordner) – Growing Greener III is a program to allocate $500 million of ARP funds to preservation.

The bill was reported out of committee on a vote of 10-1. Sen. Hutchinson voting in the negative. 

SB806 (Yaw) – Natural Gas Royalty Interest Transparency will require oil and natural gas production companies to provide specific information as well as timely payment of moneys owed from production.

  • Amendment #02421 – Language added for transparency to payment information by adding “upon the mutual consent of the royalty owner and payor.” As well as clarifies the penalty as being adjusted to a “permanent structure.”

The amendment was adopted on a vote of 10-1, and the amended bill was reported from committee on a 10-1 vote. Sen. Muth recorded as voting in the negative for both the amendment and bill. 

SB832 (Yaw) – Establishing a Clean Streams Fund by allocating $250 million of ARP funds.

  • Amendment #02427 – Changes the percentages of administrative fees in half for the varying programs. 

The amendment was adopted unanimously, and the bill was unanimously reported out of committee as amended.


The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 to consider the following resolution:

Concurrent Resolution on the disapproval of RGGI regulation.

The resolution passed on a party line vote of 7-4.


The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on Wednesday, August 18, 2021 to discuss a letter to IRRC disapproving the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative regulation.

The letter was approved, along a party line vote of 7-4, and sent to Independent Regulatory Review Commission immediately.

Senator Comitta made a motion to table this letter and offer a letter of support for the RGGI regulation. This motion was denied, 7-4.


The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 to consider the following bills:

Senate Bill 139 (Mensch/Kane): Resolution to urge the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to exercise its authority under section 211(o)(7)(A)(i) of the Clean Air Act to revise the nationwide Renewable Fuel Standard (“RFS”) updating volume mandates to provide relief to refiners in Pennsylvania, the East Coast and elsewhere, and to implement additional reforms going forward which will allow for the blending of renewable fuels consistent with the original intention of the RFS program, while containing costs for independent refiners.

Technical amendment was adopted by a vote of 10-1. Senator Muth voting in the negative.

The bill was reported as amended by a vote of 10-1. Senator Muth voting in the negative.

Senate Bill 717 (Bartolotta): Improving the Permit Appeals Process

The bill was reported as committed on a party line vote of 7-4. All Dems voting in the negative.

Senate Bill 718 (Bartolotta): Improving Permit Appeals Process as it retains to Environmental Hearing Board’s membership

The bill was reported as committed on a party line vote of 7-4. All Dems voting in the negative.

Senate Bill 765 (Langerholc): Updating the Cremation Law

Over


The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on June 15, 2021 to consider the following bills:

SB245 (Yaw) – Charges the EQB with promulgating regulations which establish bonding requirements for project developers who seek to install or operate commercial wind or solar electric generation and other renewable energy facilities in PA

  • Senator Yaw offered amendment, A01476, to clarify language.
    • The amendment was adopted 7-4, Senators Comitta, Boscola, Muth, and Santarsiero voting in the negative.
  • The Bill was reported out of committee as amended by a party line vote of 7-4.

SB302 (Yaw) – Prohibits the use of certain class B firefighting foams under certain circumstances, and imposing powers and duties on the PA Emergency Management Agency and the State Fire Commissioner

  • Senator Yaw offered amendment, A01677, to clarify PFAS language and insert section on warning labels.
    • The amendment was adopted 10-1, Senator Muth voting in the negative.
  • The bill was reported out of committee as amended by a vote of 9-2, Senators Muth and Santarsiero voting in the negative.

SB545 (Yaw) – Legislation to amend the Clean Streams Law, adding a new section to provide for notice of discharge endangering public health or environment.

  • The bill was reported out as committed by a party line vote of 7-4.

Environmental Resources & Energy and Local Government Committees met on Tuesday, May 11, 2021:

The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee met on Wednesday, February 3, 2021:

Senator Carolyn Comitta

Senator Carolyn Comitta

Committee Chair