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262 bills survived the legislative process this year and only a handful are of concern to the Environmental Council. Vickie and Rob have written passionately about the most important (and often appalling) bills. Yet there are a few that we should take note of and here they are:
SB234 removes water and sewer utilities owned by political subdivisions from PSC jurisdiction. An interesting twist is the provision detailling the procedure for selling such a utility to another entity. Gee, who would want to buy a small community’s water system?
SB280 provides for the transfer of a horizontal well drilling permit to another company. Such as when Chesapeake Energy sells its assets to another company. Apparently this was the only DEP permit that couldn’t be transferred under any circumstances.
SB390 authorizes “expedited cost recovery” for natural gas utility infrastructure projects. Not pipelines, but the expansion of gas lines into new areas. This will have a negative impact on rate payers, who of course will be expected to pay for this.
And finally there is HB 2627, expanding the crime of property destruction. It looks to be aimed at those who interfere with resource extraction activies or even solid waste facilities or equipment.