AMC Applauds PA Air Quality Announcement
January 21, 2016 – Four million Pennsylvania residents and families live in communities that fail to meet national clear air standards for pollutants like ozone.
The Commonwealth has been a growing contributor to air pollution through the release of ozone pre-cursors and climate warming gases like methane from oil & gas operations. These air pollutants directly impact our health and for individuals that are active in the outdoors, poor air quality can have an even larger impact.
Pennsylvania took a leap forward in addressing these problems, when Governor Wolf announced on Tuesday January 19, 2016, that the Commonwealth would be tightening rules related to methane pollution from the natural gas sector, looking at both existing and new sources of these emissions.
Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases, contributing significantly to climate change, which is expected to increase the risk of unhealthy air pollution due to a warmer atmosphere. Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts from around the region have called on the federal government to tighten air pollution rules, which have recently been proposed for new sources by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Pennsylvania’s recent announcement illustrates an “out of the gate” mentality showing that the Commonwealth will be a leader in protecting public heath, meeting or exceeding federal requirements, setting the bar for best practices, all while continuing to balance on-going oil & gas development with proper controls.
Next, the administration will be submitting a proposal to the Commonwealth’s Air Quality Advisory Committee for their review. The Appalachian Mountain Club looks forward to staying closely involved and weighing in to support standards that are protective of human health and ensure that outdoor recreation continues to be a healthy and safe activity for all residents and families.