The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee approved the following five measures (summaries provided by the committee):

  • Senate Bill 265 amends the Coal and Gas Resource Coordination Act to create adequate and safe spacing between gas well clusters and workable coal seams. No permit for a gas well covered by the act would be issued unless the well cluster is located at least 2,000 feet from the nearest well cluster, unless the permit applicant and the owner of the workable coal seam consent in writing.

 Absent an agreement, either the coal operator or well applicant may activate a dispute resolution process to resolve the spacing issue. The bill also requires the department to commission an independent study to conduct a comprehensive evaluation and update of the Joint Coal and Gas Committee Gas Well Pillar Study.

  • Senate Bill 302 requires state agencies that receive funding under the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund Act (Key '93) to submit annual reports to the governor and General Assembly - including a description of projects and amounts requested - and post the information online. A Republican member of the committee said the legislature wants a better accounting of how the money collected under the Fund is spent.

 “We simply have no idea how this money is being used,” the Senate member said. “We are owed at least that.”

  • Senate Bill 303 requires DEP to deposit any Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act-related fine money into the HSCA Fund. A staffer for the committee said that DEP is currently under no requirement to deposit the money collected into the HSCA Fund.
  • Senate Bill 304 requires DEP to post and maintain all clean air State Implementation Plans on its website, and to provide the same to the standing Senate and House oversight committees.
  • Senate Bill 151 ensures that when a company is fined by the state for violating Pennsylvania's Clean Air Act local communities would get a share of the money for environmental projects.