Yaw: Senate ERE Committee Oks Framework for Carbon Capture Sequestration, Bill Directing EQB to Establish Spill Reporting Requirements

HARRISBURG – The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee today approved two bills addressing carbon capture sequestration and reporting requirements for accidental spills, according to Chairman Gene Yaw (R-23), sponsor of both measures.

Senate Bill 286 would direct the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) to establish a clear, practical reporting obligation similar to the laws of other states to address accidental discharges or spill of substances that may enter the waters of the Commonwealth.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) enforces its own spill reporting regulation. Currently, a discharger must notify DEP of all unauthorized spills of any substance, even when the quantity spilled is very small and poses no risk of harm to persons or the environment. This has resulted in impractical and unnecessary requirements on businesses and individuals throughout the Commonwealth.

Also approved today was Senate Bill 831, legislation establishing the legal and regulatory framework for potential carbon dioxide capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) in Pennsylvania. 

“This legislation is a proactive step to secure Pennsylvania’s future as a hub for carbon capture and sequestration,” Yaw said. “It’s a pragmatic solution to a problem that we all want to solve – reducing our carbon emissions without crippling the reliability of our existing power grid.”

The Great Plains Institute, using data from a 2009 Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) report, estimates the state could store about 2.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide underground. This is equivalent to the level of greenhouse gases emitted from 517 million gas-powered passenger vehicles annually, according to the EPA.

“Pennsylvania is uniquely qualified to develop a vast CCUS network, thanks to our robust energy industry and extensive geological formations,” Yaw said. “We should act now to establish a solid regulatory framework that will attract investment and development and economic opportunity for decades to come.”

For more state-related news and information, constituents can visit Senator Yaw’s website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com or follow him on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.

Elizabeth Weitzel

Back to Top