Evangelicals say: Put our children first and require industry to clean up their messes
The human tragedy and pain from COVID-19—especially for Americans with the smallest economic cushion–is real. We are living through one of the darkest and most uncertain times in our history. Yet it is what we do in response to tragedy and events beyond our control that defines us. As Christians, Easter reminds us that God’s providence can turn even the worst of tragedies into something to save and sustain His children.
In times such as these, we need to move forward, not backward. That’s why we are disappointed in some members of our Pennsylvania Legislature who are so clearly unmoved by our dismal air and water quality that threatens children’s health today and tomorrow. These members are preventing us from moving forward to a clean, healthy future.
Sometime during the week of April 27, 2020, HB 2416 “an act providing for and reorganizing the conduct of the executive…” may come before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Please consider asking your Representative to know the facts before making their decision:
- This bill would unnecessarily lengthen the regulatory review process and could delay implementation of regulations necessary for the protection of public health and the environment.
- HB 2416 would affect a proposed regulation setting a water quality standard for manganese, a neurotoxin at excess levels that is especially harmful to infants, but that can also be harmful to adults and livestock.
- This bill would affect a proposed regulation establishing cleanup standards for PFAS contamination.
- This bill would affect final rule-making critical to funding the Commonwealth’s Oil and Gas Program. This program seeks to address leaking methane from both conventional and unconventional methods that increase air pollution (potentially putting more Pennsylvanians at risk to COVID-19) and have clearly been linked to birth defects, preterm infant births, and other serious impacts on unborn children.
- The Oil and Gas Program is funded by fees and does not receive any support from the General Fund.
- This rule-making is essential to ensuring the Oil and Gas Program can continue to review permit applications and inspect oil and gas sites.
- This bill would affect a final regulation reducing the sulfur content in heating oil, which would help reduce premature deaths due to air pollution.
- This bill would affect a proposed regulation re-designating water quality protections for over 40 streams.
- This bill would affect a final omitted regulation updating hazardous waste regulations to conform to federal requirements and avoid federal sanctions, including losing federal funding.
- Delaying this rule-making would have environmental and economic consequences.
- This bill could cost Pennsylvania hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money and hurt Pennsylvania businesses.
We must put our children and grandchildren first and require industries to clean up the messes they create.
(Originally appeared at Creationcare, the website of the Evangelical Environmental Network.)