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One down, seven more to go

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By Lauren Pagel

July 2, 2010

Yesterday, Representative Arcuri of New York offered an amendment to the Oil Spill Accountability and Environmental Protection Act of 2010 to close a loophole that exempts the oil and gas construction activities from the storm water prevention permit requirement of the Clean Water Act. The amendment was approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and should head to the House floor sometime this month.

The successful repeal of this exemption will be the first in a long list of exemptions that must be repealed to make sure that oil and gas drilling is conducted in a safe, responsible manner than protects communities and the environment.

Oil and gas production is still exempt from the storm water portion of the Clean Water Act. And all of you have heard about the absurd exemption that hydraulic fracturing has from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Oil and gas producers are also exemption from our hazardous waste law (RCRA), the federal law designed to clean up sites contaminated by hazardous waste (also known as Superfund), the National Environmental Policy Act, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (which requires companies to report their toxic releases), and part of the Clean Air Act.

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Steps in the right direction on onshore drilling.

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By Lauren Pagel

June 25, 2010

Today, Congressman Rahall, the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, unveiled a comprehensive bill to strengthen environmental and safety rules for oil and gas drillers on publicly managed minerals both onshore and offshore.

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, it s nice to see that lawmakers are appropriately coming to the conclusion that fossil fuel extraction needs to occur in ways that protect communities, clean water and public health.

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