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Monday, February 8, 2010

Comment Letters on TDS pollutants to DEP

Comment Letters on TDS pollutants to DEP

Friday is the last day to comment on the proposed new standards to greatly reduce new, high TDS (primarily salts) discharges into Pennsylvania rivers.

John Hines, DEP’s Water Secretary, speaking at Lycoming college on January 29th clearly indicated he favored backing off the proposed standards for controlling TDS discharges. He cited the economics of the gas industry and other manufactures. His intent wasn’t spelled out but he seemed to indicate a nuanced and selective poisoning of our rivers rather than the mass one which is happening now. Additions of TDS’s, it must be noted, are always pollutants in fresh water systems.

Below is a letter you can simply copy and paste to DEP’s comment address. More effective would be to modify the letter with you own comments or even better, write your own letter.

Environmental Quality Board
PO Box 8477
Harrisburg, Pa 17105-8477

Dear Members of the Environmental Quality Board

RE: 25 Code Chapter 95, Wastewater Treatment Requirements

The proposed new regulations on TDS discharges into Pennsylvania rivers issued last April have already had a very positive result. The gas drilling industry has quickly moved to develop waste water management strategies that rely on recycling.

Recycling has a number of advantages beyond waste water treatment. It reduces the amount of fresh water removed from streams, which is a contentious issue, and greatly reduces the amount of heavy tanker truck traffic. The new treatment plants on the drawing board often promise no discharge into our rivers.

The gas exploration industry is very well funded and technically based. They have the means, as they already have proven, to respond to the challenges of their own waste water. Put to the task, this industry is developing strategies that other industries can follow. These new technologies will translate into good, home grown jobs.

Please hold the line on the proposed new standards. they are not perfect but are a very good start. Additions of TDS are always a pollutant in fresh water systems. Please don’t accept a nuanced poisoning of our rivers when the means exist to avoid it. Everyone benefits, particularly the effected industries, when good regulation leads to a sustainable condition.

Please don’t forget to add your name and address

If you are sending an email you may want to copy the addresses of the individual board members into the Cc: box so they get copies rather than being told there are x number of comments.

Who Are These People?


11 Members - Secretary of Environmental Protection
Secretary of Health
Secretary of Community and Economic Development
Secretary of Transportation
Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Labor & Industry
Executive Director of Fish and Boat Commission
Executive Director of Game Commission
Chairperson of Public Utility Commission
Executive Director of Historical & Museum Commission
Executive Director of the State Planning Board

5 Members - Citizens Advisory Council

(elected annually by members of Citizens Advisory Council)

4 Members - General Assembly - one to be appointed by each of the following:

President Pro Tempore of Senate
Senate Minority Leader
Speaker of House of Representatives
House Minority Leader

TERM: State Agency Members - consistent with term of agency appointment; House and Senate Members - at the pleasure of the legislative leaders; Citizens Advisory Council Members - elected annually by members of the Citizens Advisory Council.

VOTING: All Board Members may designate alternates with voting privileges in accordance with Sections 213 and 471 of the Administrative Code. Eight members of the Board constitute a quorum.

MEETINGS: Meetings are held the third Tuesday of every month in the Rachel Carson State Office Building (RCSOB), 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Special meetings and hearings are held at the discretion of the EQB. Meetings are open to the public; however, public statements are not permitted at the EQB meetings. EQB public hearings may be scheduled to solicit public comments on proposed regulations.

Below is the DEP web site for the EQB with more specifics.


Anonymous said...

Pennsylvania DEP had the courage to propose these strong standards to protect our water resources and there is a lot of back door politicking going on right now to get them weakened. In case you do not know it, the energy companies have deep pockets and a lot of influence. More influence than those of us who care about clean water and our childrfen's future and stewardship. This is a battle of money versus the public good.

Anonymous said...

Nothing like being spoon fed!

Do not recall seeing one of these form letters in regards to the outdoor wood boilers!

Guess we have minds of our own and know how to put our own concerns in the letters we sent!