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PennFuture Praises EQB for Passage of Vital Water Protection Rules.

New Regulations Will Help Protect Water from Pollution by Marcellus Shale Drillers, Mining, and Development along Streams and Rivers

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture) today praised the Pennsylvania Environment Quality Board for approving two vital water protection rules that will help avoid damage to both drinking water and the state's streams and rivers. One rule approved today sets a protective limit on total dissolved solid (TDS) pollution in streams, and requires Marcellus Shale drillers to treat wastewater that they discharge to streams and rivers to drinking water standards. The second requires new developments to create or protect a 150 foot natural filter planted with trees and other plants between construction and our best and purest waterways.

"These regulations will go a long way to making our drinking water safe and our streams and rivers better protected," said Jan Jarrett, president and CEO of PennFuture. "The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) developed these rules to avoid new threats to our water as our state ratchets up both development and drilling. The drillers will now be required to treat the wastewater they discharge to rivers and streams to drinking water standards. And other industries with new or expanded permits will have strict limits on the amount of TDS pollution they can release. The new development standards will make sure that our exceptional value and high quality streams remain available for fishing, swimming and other recreational uses.

"The EQB is to be commended for acting now, rather than waiting and hoping for the best," continued Jarrett. "We have already experienced problems from TDS pollution from gas drilling that contaminated drinking water. These rules should protect streams from massive fish kills as happened in Dunkard Creek and to ensure public drinking water supplies will be protected. The members of the EQB should be commended for their action, and Representative Bud George (D-Clearfield) and Senator Ray Musto (D-Carbon) deserve our praise for their great leadership in protecting our waters."

The new rules will now move to the Environmental Resources and Energy committees in the state House and Senate, as well as to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission for a 30-day review period.

"We urge the House and Senate committees and the IRRC to join the EQB in moving these rules forward speedily," said Jarrett. "We have no time to waste in protecting our drinking water and our best streams and rivers."

PennFuture is a statewide public interest membership organization that advances policies to protect and improve the state's environment and economy. With offices in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, West Chester, and Wilkes-Barre, PennFuture's activities include litigating cases before regulatory bodies and in local, state and federal courts, advocating and advancing legislative action on a state and federal level, public education and assisting citizens in public advocacy.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U2PA
Date:May 17, 2010
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