Says he will work to protect our air, land and water with common sense policies
Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett today announced his plan to protect Pennsylvania's environment. Corbett has worked aggressively throughout his career to protect the environment and his plan as governor is a continuation of his commitment.
"Protecting Pennsylvania's Environment with Leadership for the Future," details multiple steps to ensure that a clean environment will be sustained for future generations.
"Our environment plays an integral part in forging a new direction and a new era in Pennsylvania," said Corbett. "I will work to protect our air, land and water and I will enact policies that balance economic growth with strong environmental stewardship."
Corbett's plan contains the following key areas:
* Getting the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection back to basics
* Regulating the natural gas industry
* Protecting the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
* Revitalizing Brownfield and Grayfield Properties
* Promoting state parks and forests
"I will direct the Department of Environmental Protection to serve as a partner with Pennsylvania businesses, communities and local governments," said Corbett. "It should return to its core mission protecting the environment based on sound science."
Corbett will focus on six actions within the DEP to set the tone of getting back to basics:
* Eliminate the permit backlog by directing the Secretary of DEP to review each of the permits on file to determine if they are still active and part of a job-creating economic development project.
* Create the Permit Decision Guarantee Program to ensure timely permit decisions for each permit issued by the agency.
* Establish a DEP Legacy Corps by enlisting retired DEP senior managers to voluntarily mentor future DEP managers.
* Review DEP programs, regulations and guidance documents by directing the DEP Secretary to initiate a review of all DEP programs and offices within the first three months and issue a report outlining necessary legislative or regulatory changes as well as current staffing capabilities.
* Administer DEP programs with uniformity by directing the Secretary of DEP to develop an initiative to ensure uniform administration of programs within the agency.
The emerging Marcellus Shale industry is something Corbett believes should be developed responsibly and in an environmentally sound manner. Corbett says we must make every effort to protect Pennsylvania's waterways and lands by strengthening existing drilling regulations and enacting new ones. Corbett will create a bipartisan Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Commission that will address issues regarding the industry and will reach out to local communities and address environmental concerns.
Corbett's environmental goals regarding the Marcellus Shale industry include:
* Mandate Frac Chemical Disclosure by calling for mandatory disclosure of ALL additives used in the hydraulic fracing process for each well site
* Expand pre-drill water testing: Corbett will mandate expanding the radius for pre-drill water testing.
* Increase the mandatory protections for water supplies
* Support DEP regulatory changes to protect water supplies
* Institute well cap inspections on a daily basis throughout Pennsylvania.
* Increase bonding amounts to ensure that companies have adequate and appropriate financial and insurance resources to protect Pennsylvania's environment
* Tougher penalties for violations and ensuring that DEP properly trains inspectors to ensure that inspections are conducted thoughtfully and thoroughly
* Address issues related to gas migration by calling for tougher regulations and laws
* Direct interagency coordination of the Marcellus Shale by appointing and directing a new Energy Executive.
* Protect the groundwater, encourage recycling and coordinate permitting
Corbet recognizes that Pennsylvania's environment is one of our most precious resources. From our rivers and streams to our state parks and forests, any future protection and development must be carefully and thoughtfully considered.
"As Governor, I will work to strike the balance between protecting our environment and growing economic development opportunities and jobs." said Corbett. "Our environment plays an integral part in forging a new direction and a new era in Pennsylvania."
Tom Corbett's detailed plan "Protecting Pennsylvania's Environment with Leadership for the Future" is available online. For additional information about Tom Corbett and his vision for Pennsylvania, visit www.tomcorbettforgovernor.com.