Environment

Protecting Pennsylvania’s Environment

Senator Casey is working to preserve the richness, beauty and diversity of Pennsylvania’s natural environment. He is committed to protecting the environment, preserving our national treasures and safeguarding the health of Pennsylvanian families.

  • Senator Casey believes we must rise to the challenge of climate change and revitalize our economy by increasing our efforts in the areas of energy efficiency; developing and adopting cleaner ways of producing electricity; and creating jobs. Senator Casey supports the need for a comprehensive climate change plan and EPA’s Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. Senator Casey voted to support EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Senator Casey is also a cosponsor of the Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Act and has previously sponsored bills to support carbon capture and sequestration research and liability issues.
  • Senator Casey voted to support the “Mercury and Air Toxics Standard” (MATS), EPA standards aimed at reducing mercury and other air toxics emissions from power plants by about 90 percent. Senator Casey also voted to support the “Cross State Air Pollution Rule” (CSAPR), which would require 23 states throughout the eastern, central, and southern U.S. to significantly improve air quality by reducing power plant emissions that contribute to ozone and/or fine particle pollution in other states. 
  • Senator Casey introduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act. The bill would require public disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing (a simple matter of people having a right to know about what is being pumped under their feet) and include hydraulic fracturing once again in the Safe Drinking Water Act. It enables fracking to be regulated under EPA’s Underground Injection Program – which allows for state “primacy,” or self-management.
  • Senator Casey introduced the Trash Reduction and Sensible Handling (TRASH) Act to allow states to restrict garbage imports by setting higher standards for waste handling within the State. For example, if a state or local municipality requires certain amounts of recycling, composting, or waste reduction measures, that state would be able to restrict out-of-state waste unless the exporting state complies with the same or higher standards. The TRASH Act would also allow a state to impose a higher fee on out-of-state waste.
  • Senator Casey supports the regulation of coal combustion residuals, or coal ash. Senator Casey has sent letters to EPA supporting regulation of coal ash as nonhazardous waste, and also submitted similar testimony for an EPA public meeting in Pittsburgh.
  • Senator Casey voted to support implementation of the Clean Water Rule. In 2014, Senator Casey co-signed a letter to EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that conservation practices on farms would not be affected by implementation of the rule.
  • Senator Casey spoke directly with the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and sent letters to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, White House Office of Management and Budget and White House Council on Environmental Quality urging support and funding for conservation efforts for farmers in the Susquehanna River Basin, as part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Senator Casey fought to secure provisions in the Farm Bill to support the most critical conservation areas and help farmers in the Chesapeake Bay watershed participate in conservation programs so that they can help the region meet water quality standards. Pennsylvania farmers work hard to protect their land and environment and we should be doing everything we can to help them succeed. Senator Casey has also regularly signed on to letters to Senate Agriculture Appropriators requesting full and mandatory funding for Farm Bill conservation programs like the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), and the Agriculture Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), as well as requesting support for Chesapeake Bay programs within EPA, the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Senator Casey believes that we must be good stewards of the land and supports efforts to protect and maintain access to our National Parks and outdoor recreation areas. Senator Casey has consistently signed on to letters to Senate Interior Appropriators to request robust funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Forest Legacy Program. Senator Casey is a cosponsor of the Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act, to permanently reauthorize and fully fund LWCF.
  • Senator Casey introduced the Susquehanna Gateway National Heritage Area Act, to establish the Susquehanna Gateway National Heritage Area in Pennsylvania. Senator Casey is also an original cosponsor of the Delaware River Basin Conservation Act, to establish a Delaware River Basin restoration program. This legislation was included in the Senate version of the Water Resources Development Act, which is currently under consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Senator Casey introduced or supported legislation to protect several public lands areas in Pennsylvania. He pushed for these provisions to be included in a public lands package that was signed into law in December, 2014. The public lands package protects four National Heritage Areas in Pennsylvania until 2021 (Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, Lackawanna Heritage Valley National Heritage Area, Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and Schuylkill River Valley National Heritage Area), expands the Gettysburg National Military Park, authorizes the First State National Historic Park in Pennsylvania and Delaware and designates nine more miles of the White Clay Creek as “Wild and Scenic.”
  • Senator Casey is a cosponsor of a bill to designate a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness. This legislation would permanently protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas drilling.
  • Senator Casey has voted to support the Endangered Species Act. Senator Casey has consistently signed on to letters to Senate Interior Appropriators in support of the State and Tribal Wildlife Grant Program, which provides grant funds to State fish and wildlife agencies for programs benefitting wildlife.
  • Senator Casey believes we must properly review and regulate harmful chemicals to protect all consumers, particularly children, infants, pregnant women, the elderly and workers. It is possible to effectively regulate chemicals without limiting industry’s ability to grow and innovate. Senator Casey was a cosponsor of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, to overhaul and strengthen the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical regulatory system. Senator Casey voted to support final passage of the package and this legislation was signed into law by President Obama on June 22, 2016.

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