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Casey Calls on Strong Protections and Public Input as DRBC Examines Regulations

Casey Calls on Strong Protections and Public Input as DRBC Examines Regulations

Also calls for increased disclosure and better emergency response

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today sent a letter to the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) as it considers regulation of natural gas wells in the Delaware River Basin.  Senator Casey expressed concern for water quality and the need to have public input and review of any new regulations.

“Natural gas has played, and will continue to play, an important role in our energy portfolio as we transition to a new energy future, and we are fortunate to have domestic resources to help meet our growing needs,” wrote Senator Casey.  “However, we must develop the Marcellus Shale using the best practices to protect our communities, our people and our environment.”
Senator Casey also called on the DRBC to implement some of the measures he has proposed at the federal level including public disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing and enhanced emergency response measures to protect workers and the community in the event of a well blowout or other emergency.
Senator Casey also wrote: “I urge the Commission to institute strong measures to continue to protect water quality and quantity in the basin.  I further encourage the Commission to move deliberately and to provide ample time and opportunity for public input and review.”
Senator Casey introduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act (S.1215) to repeal an exemption provided for the oil and gas industry and would require the disclosure of the chemicals used in their hydraulic fracturing processes. 
Senator Casey has introduced legislation to help prepare Pennsylvania workers for jobs in the natural gas industry.  The Marcellus Shale On-the-Job Training Act of 2010 (S.3720) will authorize grants to strengthen On-the-Job Training programs to help ensure natural gas drilling jobs go to Pennsylvanians and not workers from out-of-state.
Senator Casey also plans to introduce legislation to improve emergency response at oil and gas wells.  The Faster Action Safety Team Emergency Response (FASTER) Act of 2010 provides the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with the ability to draft regulations that will enhance emergency response procedures at oil and gas wells.  Senator Casey chaired a hearing in Pittsburgh in July to gather comments on his proposal.

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