Harrisburg – October 21, 2019 – Sen. Larry Farnese (D – Philadelphia) voted no on Senate Bill 790 today, which he said will further deregulated the oil and gas industry within Pennsylvania.

“The Pennsylvania Constitution guarantees all citizens of this Commonwealth the ‘right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment’, Farnese said.  “This legislation chips away at this constitutional protection by allowing oil and gas industry to no longer abide by key environmental protections.  Concerns have been raised that this bill violates the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s 2013 Robinson Township Decision.”

“I could not support legislation that has the potential of harming Pennsylvania residents and our environment.”

Farnese said that Senate Bill 790, the Conventional Oil and Gas Wells Act, would weakens standards imposed through Act 13 of 2012 which updated Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Act. He said that Senate Bill 790 would remove reporting requirements and penalties for gas spills and water and air contamination.  The bill also removes the requirement for oil and gas producers to provide replacement water to Pennsylvania residents that meets the Safe Drinking Water Act Standards.

“I believe in creating jobs and supporting the economy of Pennsylvania, but that should not come at the expense of our citizens and our environment,” Farnese said.

Senate Bill 790 passed the Senate with a vote of 26-23. The bill now goes to the House chambers for consideration.

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Contact: Hugh Baird

Phone: 717 787-5166

Email: Hugh.Baird@pasenate.com