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WATER CONSERVATION, PHOSPHATE BAN BILLS OK'D BY SENATE COMMITTEE

 WATER CONSERVATION, PHOSPHATE BAN BILLS OK'D BY SENATE COMMITTEE
 HARRISBURG, Pa., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee today approved four bills, including legislation that would require the use of low-flow water-conserving plumbing fixtures statewide to conserve water, and a bill that continues limits on phosphate discharges to rivers, according to Sen. David J. "Chip" Brightbill (R-48), chairman of the Senate Environmental Energy and Resources Committee.
 Senate Bill 1674, sponsored by Sen. Richard Tilghman of Montgomery County, would require the use of water-conserving water closets, faucets, and shower heads across the state in new construction and remodeling. According to Brightbill, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has already required the municipalities in all or parts of 16 counties in eastern Pennsylvania to adopt the requirement, which is based on the standards established by the American National Standards Institute. A total of 135 of the 507 municipalities in the DRBC area have already adopted these standards.
 "The bill is not only designed to extend this requirement statewide as Delaware, New Jersey and New York have done, it is also aimed at saving our municipalities the cost of adopting individual ordinances to meet the DRBC requirement," Brightbill said.
 Under the legislation, municipalities would enforce the standards through local plumbing codes. The Department of Environmental Resources and Energy (DER) is directed to evaluate the adequacy of the low-flow plumbing fixture standards every five years.
 The committee approved a second water-related measure that is intended to cut excess nutrients entering rivers and streams. House Bill 2415, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Coy of Franklin County, would extend the provisions of the 1989 Phosphate Detergent Act until 1995. The original measure prohibited the sale, manufacture, distribution or use of laundry detergents containing phosphates until December 1992.
 A measure establishing the Oil Spill Responder Liability Act received favorable consideration by the committee. House Bill 1667, sponsored by Rep. John Wozniak of Cambria County, defines the liability of contractors involved in oil spill cleanups. The federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990 provides limited liability immunity for those who respond to oil spills under certain circumstances. However, state law does not speak to the cleanup contractor liability.
 Cleanup contractors would not be liable for oil removal costs or damages resulting from actions taken or omitted while engaged in rendering assistance at an oil spill. They would still be responsible for any acts or omissions which constitute gross negligence or willful misconduct or for personal injury or wrongful death. Seventeen other coastal states have adopted similar legislation.
 Senate Bill 1463, sponsored by Sen. Melissa Hart of Allegheny County, also received committee approval. The bill amends the Second Class County Code to specify procedures Allegheny County is to use to develop "turnkey" hydroelectric projects. The county has received licenses from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to develop two hydroelectric projects on existing dams on the Allegheny and Ohio rivers.
 /delval/
 -0- 5/5/92
 /CONTACT: David Hess of Sen. David J. Brightbill's office, 717-787-5708/ CO: Pennsylvania Senate ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: LEG


MK-JS -- PH030 -- 6699 05/05/92 15:31 EDT
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Date:May 5, 1992
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