With kids in tow, parents call on Wolf to regulate methane



Parents from around Pennsylvania are urging Gov. Tom Wolf to regulate methane emissions.

They held a news conference in the Capitol Thursday, flanked by their children, whom they say are affected most harshly by pollution caused by the state’s oil and gas industry.

The governor promised in January that oil and gas regulations would be introduced this year. His methane-reduction plan would require companies to use the best technology available to prevent leaks of the powerful greenhouse gas at their work sites.

The state Department of Environmental protection also said it would develop comprehensive rules to cut down on leaks in existing machinery.

However, none of those regulations has been implemented.

At her home in Washington County, Lois Bower-Bjornson said, the lack of regulation is taking a toll.

“Everything from smells, to odors, to killing of the trees, to certain things in the grass … it goes on and on,” she said.

A meeting where some of the regulations were supposed to be introduced was recently cancelled — the third such delay.

In a statement, the Wolf administration said implementation of any major initiative takes time. It added that the DEP plans to release the updated regulations “in the coming months.”

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