Canonsburg, PA – At a meeting scheduled for tomorrow, the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) will consider and review a set of recommendations to enhance transparency, streamline permitting processes and strengthen overall enforcement, which, taken together, aim to increase the region’s air quality. These Environmental Air Quality Task Force recommendations were released in a December 2009 report.
“Our industry supports increased transparency and a common sense, workable regulatory framework at the county level that is consistent with state regulations,” said Kathryn Klaber, president and executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC).
The Task Force reviewed the following areas within ACHD’s Air Bureau, seeking to determine if the current regulatory structure “facilitated, challenged, or compromised” the delivery of effective and efficient operations:
- County air quality regulations;
- Permitting and appellate process;
- Air quality monitoring; and
- Organizational design.
“If these recommendations are implemented and ACHD is able to modernize its current air quality regulatory framework, our industry is confident that environmental, public health and economic benefits associated with shale gas development all will progress together,” noted Klaber, who served as a Task Force member. “The natural gas industry is committed to partnering with key stakeholders, community members and the ACHD to advance the Task Force’s important work.”
In August 2008, Allegheny County executive Dan Onorato created an Environmental Air Quality Task Force. The group’s mission was to review the county’s air quality programs and provide recommendations to enhance efficiencies. Given the interdependence of the county and state governments with respect to air quality management, it was the Task Force’s charge to identify the effective management tools to meet the needs of the community.