Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bill to Require Posting of Gas Wells' GPS Locations

A Pennsylvania Senate committee has passed a bill to document the exact location of every Marcellus Shale natural gas well in the state.

Sponsoring Senator Lisa Baker says emergency crews often cannot find gas wells in emergency situations. Baker, a Republican representing six northeastern counties, says if the GPS coordinates of each site were documented, responders could look up the well's location easily and arrive sooner.

In addition, gas well operators would need to submit emergency response plans to the local 911 center, to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, and to the state's Department of Environmental Protection.

"When every second counts in an emergency, this bill will cut down on emergency response time and keep small incidents from escalating into major accidents," writes Baker in a news release.

After unanimous approval from the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, the measure now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

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