WEST CHESTER (September 11, 2019) – Protecting Chester County’s air, land and water was the subject of a recent meeting state Senator Andy Dinniman held with officials from Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania.
Dinniman, who serves on the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, met with Jess Cadorette, Chester County Director for Conservation Voters of PA, and Katie Blume, Political Director for Chester County Conservation Voters of PA, to discuss his efforts and support for legislation to better protect our environment from pipelines and pollution, while addressing the impacts of climate change.
“Pennsylvania was at the forefront of the environmental movement nearly 50 years ago when we amended our state constitution to guarantee citizens’ rights to ‘clean air, pure water,’ affirm our natural resources as ‘the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come,’ and entrust the Commonwealth to ‘conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people,’” Dinniman said. “However, in recent years our legislative leaders and our state agencies seem to have forgotten that promise. And it’s high time that we redouble our efforts to protect and preserve our environment before it’s too late.”
According to Conservation Voters of PA, Pennsylvania is projected to be home to more than 10,000 miles of natural gas pipeline this year —that’s increased substantially from the about 6,000 miles in 2014. Multiple pipelines are planned for or currently under construction in Chester County. On numerous occasions, drilling sites and pipelines have been hazardous to public health and that of local wildlife in Pennsylvania.
For instance, the Mariner East 2 pipeline project has been hit with nearly 100 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection violations since 2017, many of them stemming from inadvertent returns, spills and unpermitted discharges into streams and waterways.
In addition, Dinniman remains steadfast in his support of local efforts to limit or ban single-use plastics and plastic bags, despite a measure slipped into this year’s budget bill that attempts to prevent the municipalities from doing so for one year.
“The crazy thing is our own legislature is trying to stop local governments from banning plastics while it refuses to address the environmental, health and safety risks of a pipeline that is carrying hazardous natural gas liquids throughout communities to make more plastics overseas,” Dinniman said. “What does that tell you about priorities?”
Dinniman also discussed the need to reduce our carbon footprint and move Pennsylvania to renewable and sustainable sources of energy. He is a co-sponsor and strong supporter of Senate Bill 630, which aims to transition the Commonwealth to 100 percent clean, renewable energy, through public and private investment and the creation of thousands of skilled jobs, by 2050.
“We know that the impacts of pollution, greenhouse gases, global warming, and climate change are disastrous and dire,” Dinniman said. “We cannot continue to try to ignore this growing threat. And that is precisely why Conservation Voters of PA and organizations like it are so important. I thank them for their ongoing work and support in the fight to protect our environment, our Commonwealth and our planet for our children and our children’s children.”