Oct 11, 2018 DLN Bill in Harrisburg would make protesting at pipeline site a crime
HARRISBURG — The Senate and House are grappling with legislation that would make it crime to protest at a pipeline site.
SB652 passed the Senate 28-20 in May and was on Wednesday’s House calendar but did not come up for a vote.
The House and Senate differ on the versions of the bill, and if the House votes affirmatively, the bill will need to again be voted on by the Senate. Representatives meet three days next week for the last time in 2018.
Sens. Andy Dinniman, D-19, John Rafferty, R-44, and Tom Killion, R-9, voted “no,” and Reps. Becky Corbin, R-155, and Carolyn Comitta, D-156, voted against the bill in committee.
Dinniman released the following statement on Wednesday:
“This is part of a concerted effort that is going not only in Pennsylvania but across the nation to silence and stifle any opposition, criticism or concerns related to growing network of pipelines crisscrossing our communities. Yes, our critical infrastructure needs to be safe and secure, but this isn’t the way to do it.
Furthermore, if pipeline companies, like Sunoco, are so concerned about safety why haven’t they taken the necessary steps to ensure that our schools and local emergency first responders have access to the information they need to adequately respond to potential emergencies? Instead, we want to throw people in jail for up to a year for peaceful protests or ‘trespassing’ on an easement that may be in their own backyard? That’s not only wrong; it’s downright un-American.”
Comitta is opposed to the bill.
“I opposed in committee and will oppose on the floor,” Comitta said Wednesday. “I believe this bill is unnecessary and serves only to bully pipeline protesters.
“The crimes code already addresses penalties for trespassing and vandalism. In addition, this bill also adds felony charges for certain vandalism — that level of severe punishment is not appropriate for such crimes.” Source
Jan 3, 2018 Daily Times News Pennsylvania DEP shuts down construction on Sunoco gas pipeline
WEST GOSHEN >> Already several months behind schedule, construction of the Sunoco Mariner East 2 pipeline was hit with another major setback Wednesday when the state Department of Environmental Protection shut down all construction on the project.
Work on the pipeline was indefinitely suspended statewide by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which said the project would remain stalled until Sunoco complies with the terms of its permitting process.
The ruling comes in the wake of the most recent problem with the project, with the DEP citing the company for drilling without the proper permitting in a section of the pipeline near Harrisburg.
The company has said it is trying to abide by the DEP permitting rules and regulations. The state is now demanding Sunoco come up with a plan to address the problems with Mariner East 2.
Sunoco Pipeline LP can do only basic maintenance of equipment on-site, maintenance of erosion control and limited maintenance of horizontal drilling, according to the state agency’s edict.
Under the order, the DEP noted that construction will cease until Sunoco submits a detailed operations plan outlining additional measures to control and minimize inadvertent returns.
Sunoco has discharged drilling fluid more than 100 times, including four times this fall, during a four-day time period, at the same location in East Goshen Township.
Sunoco also must also address the impact to private wells in Silver Spring Township, near Harrisburg, where a recent spill occurred during drilling that was outside the scope of the permits issued to Sunoco, according to DEP.
Earlier this summer, Sunoco fouled drinking water wells in about 30 West Whiteland Township wells and then hooked up homeowners to public water and awarded each homeowner $60,000.
The pipeline company will also need to better address environmental permitting regulations, the DEP order stated.
GOVERNOR WEIGHS IN
Gov. Tom Wolf has been under increasing pressure from elected officials and citizen groups to halt construction on the pipeline until a new safety study on the project could be completed.
Wolf’s press secretary J.J. Abbott issued a statement Wednesday.
“Gov. Wolf has made clear from the onset that he expects DEP to hold all permittees accountable to the conditions and requirements of Pennsylvania law which are implemented in all permits that are issued. DEP today is doing just that,” Abbott said. “This suspension will remain in place until the operator demonstrates compliance with the administrative order that DEP issued. This provides assurance that going forward it will uphold all obligations under the strict permits issued for this project.
“It is incredibly important that operators adhere to the terms of their permit. A failure to do so puts jobs for the citizens of our commonwealth and investment in our communities at risk.”
The head of the DEP said in light of recent reports of new problems with pipeline work, the state had little choice.
“Until Sunoco can demonstrate that the permit conditions can and will be followed, DEP has no alternative but to suspend the permits,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We are living up to our promise to hold this project accountable to the strong protections in the permits.”
Jeff Shields, Sunoco Pipeline Communications Manager responded.
“We received an order this morning from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection that instructed us to suspend construction activities in Pennsylvania with respect to Mariner East 2 until reauthorized by the Pennsylvania DEP,” Shields said. “The order requires us to submit various reports related to current and future construction activities. We intend to expeditiously submit these reports and we are confident that we will be reauthorized to commence work on this project promptly. We also reiterate our commitment to the highest levels of construction expertise and our dedication to preserving and protecting the environment in which we conduct our work.”
SAFETY A PRIORITY
State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-156, along with six Chester and Delaware county residents, met with Gov. Wolf on Dec. 20.
“I thank the people for speaking loudly and persistently,” Comitta said. “I also thank the governor for listening to the concerns of our citizens and making public safety a priority.”
Melissa DiBernardino, of East Goshen Township, also spoke to the governor on Dec. 20.
“This is absolutely needed but it’s only a small part of it,” DiBernardino said. “It’s not addressing what is rightfully ours – our safety.”
Karen Feridun, Pennsylvania resident and founder of Berks Gas Truth, added: “The Department of Environmental Protection’s temporary suspension of Sunoco’s permits is a toothless act that falls far short of providing any real protection to communities in the path of the Mariner East 2 pipeline. The company has demonstrated itself to be indifferent to public health, safety, and property rights and to the regulatory process. It’s time for the DEP to shut down this unnecessary and dangerous pipeline once and for all.”
Eric Friedman is spokesperson for the Middletown Coalition for Community Safety has been busy fighting the pipeline from his home turf in Delaware County.
“The governor has been asked by thousands of concerned Pennsylvanians to halt the construction and assess the risk to vulnerable, dense populations across our commonwealth,” Friedman wrote. “Rather than addressing this request, Gov. Wolf directed his Department of Environmental Protection to take long-overdue enforcement action with respect to massive destruction associated with Sunoco’s botched and willfully noncompliant construction activities.”
State Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19, has helped lead the charge against construction.
“Residents in Chester County and throughout the commonwealth have built a strong and widespread grassroots coalition dedicated to asserting their rights and voices in the face of the growing network of pipelines crisscrossing our state,” Dinniman sated Wednesday. “This latest development is a testament to their strength, determination, and advocacy. We called for a halt to the pipeline in July, we took the message directly to Harrisburg in the fall, and I personally pushed for it again as early as yesterday.
“Although I am thrilled to see these efforts gaining traction and getting results, this is by no means an end to this process. And I, as state senator, will continue to meet my constitutional responsibility to stand with and for the health, safety and well-being of my constituents, while demanding that others, including state departments and agencies do the same.”
State Rep. Duane Milne, R-167, also commented on Wednesday.
“In conjunction with other public officials, I have been expressing my concerns and raising objections to this project, given the numerous problems encountered along its path. This was the right decision at this point. As I have called for in the past: this project needs a complete reboot.
“Numerous concerns regarding public safety, geological conditions and environmental protection continue, quite rightly, to be raised. These must be addressed in the process of determining the future viability of this particular pipeline route. Until a thorough review takes place, the project should not move forward.
“Rather than changing the subject, the governor should recognize and act on his responsibility to assess new threats to public safety, like those imposed by Sunoco’s recklessly conceived Mariner East.”
State Rep. Becky Corbin, R-155, issued a Wednesday statement: “I’m pleased to see that DEP has taken action against Sunoco to protect the health and safety of the commonwealth’s residents and visitors. On numerous occasions, I wrote to DEP regarding concerns I had about work on the project in my legislative district. Sensitive environmental features cannot be replaced once lost. In addition, it is important that potential public safety concerns are addressed to prevent a tragedy.”
VICTORY FOR PUBLIC SAFETY
State Sen. John C. Rafferty Jr., R-44, said the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to temporarily suspend construction permits associated with the Mariner East 2 pipeline is a victory for public safety and environmental protection.
“The safety and well-being of our citizens should always be our top priority and I commend the governor for his action today,” Rafferty said. “I and my colleagues, Senator Andy Dinniman and Representative Becky Corbin, along with our engaged citizen pipeline safety coalitions, have specifically requested that the governor take the necessary step that he took today. Now before moving forward, we must make certain that Sunoco complies with our laws and regulations and respects the health and welfare of all of our citizens.”
State Rep. Chris Quinn, R-168, suggested a course of caution.
“Once Sunoco corrects all of its violations, and allows drilling to occur in a safe manner, the company must remain vigilant and continue to responsibly operate and maintain the pipeline to ensure public safety,” Quinn said. “I am calling on Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration to conduct a full risk assessment to analyze the potentially catastrophic harm that a leak or other malfunction could cause.
“This pipeline will run directly through densely populated neighborhoods and right past schools, leaving our children highly vulnerable. We must know the risk and we must know it before drilling resumes.”
State Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-161, said she was “relieved” to see construction halted.
“Construction on the Mariner East 2 pipeline across Pennsylvania — but especially in Delaware and Chester counties — has impacted drinking water, wreaked havoc on private property, and posed a grave danger to our citizens,” she said. “Sunoco Logistics has shown a blatant disregard for these things that we hold dear and which are protected by our state Constitution. I thank Governor Wolf and Secretary McDonnell for their attention to this issue and for suspending the construction of this pipeline.”
Sam Rubin, of the environmental group Food and Water, went a step further, urging Wolf to shut down the project altogether.
“Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, but the only responsible course of action for Gov. Wolf is to stop the Mariner East 2 altogether,” Rubin said. “This project, which was greenlighted with flawed permits, was never going to be safe for the people of Pennsylvania.
“What we really need is a full and permanent halt to construction and a full, transparent, and public assessment of the risks associated with the Mariner East 2. The movement to stop the pipeline will be using this temporary halt to build the power we know we’ll need to protect communities from Mariner East once and for all.”
Kurt Knaus, a spokesperson of the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance, offered a contrasting opinion, urging a quick settlement of the dispute so work on the pipeline can resume.
“Sunoco and DEP should work expeditiously to resolve this matter in order for safe pipeline construction to continue – not just for the benefit of the workers who may be idled, but also for the full protection of Pennsylvania’s environment,” Knaus wrote in a Wednesday release. “Industry experts agree that actions that cause construction and horizontal directional drilling to start and stop, start and stop have the potential for even greater harm.
“This project remains critically important for our commonwealth. Sunoco and DEP should work expeditiously to resolve this matter so safe construction can resume and this vital project can get back on track.”
The $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 project is projected to ferry as much as 250,000 barrels of gases such as butane, ethane and propane across the full width of the state, from the Marcellus Shale regions to the former Sunoco refinery complex in Marcus Hook.
CLEAN AIR COUNCIL CLAIMS VICTORY
“Clean Air Council applauds Governor Wolf’s DEP for finally standing up and taking this necessary action in response to Sunoco’s pattern of blatant disregard for public health and safety, Pennsylvania drinking water supplies, and other natural resources,” said Joseph Otis Minott, Executive Director and Chief Counsel of Clean Air Council. “We look forward to DEP holding Sunoco accountable on this suspension and all future actions that may need to be taken to protect Pennsylvania residents.”
Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter Director Joanne Kilgour issued the following statement: “The spills and legal violations of the Mariner East 2 are exactly why Pennsylvanians and the Sierra Club opposed this project from the beginning. Local residents along the pipeline route have organized to defend the health and safety of their communities, warning that the Mariner East 2 would cause pollution and impact private water supplies. DEP’s decision to suspend the permits required for construction affirms that the concerns raised by these community members were valid, and that the pipeline should never have been approved in the first place. We hope the Wolf Administration will take this opportunity to re-evaluate its insufficient approach to the permitting of pipeline projects and other fossil fuel projects throughout Pennsylvania.”
Maya van Rossum, Delaware Riverkeeper and leader of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, said Wednesday that the organization helped negotiate some of the permitting rules.
“Today’s order from DEP ultimately represents DEP’s understanding that Sunoco shamelessly broke a number of terms and conditions that Delaware Riverkeeper Network and others helped secure through litigation with the department in a settlement agreement, van Rossum said. “This project was flawed from the start, and it is disgraceful that these flaws have manifested themselves in such a way that the public’s health, and environment have been significantly impacted.
“This order provides further evidence that the project should never have been authorized by DEP in the first place.”
West Goshen activist Tom Casey had the last word: “It would seem that the efforts of so many people, who are fighting for our rights, have gotten through to state officials. Due to Sunoco’s low standards, lack of expertise in pipeline coordination, and inability to follow the rules, the DEP has provided a crucial first step in holding them accountable. But there is more that needs to be done. We are demanding, for the sake of the countless thousands of residents, workers, and commuters who are near these lines, that the governor has a quantitative risk analysis completed for every township. We still do not know the extent of the danger that hardworking Pennsylvanians are being asked to accept along the Mariner East 2 pipeline path. Source
Dec 22, 2017 Daily Times Groups put pressure on Wolf to halt Mariner East 2 construction
HARRISBURG >> Six community members and two elected officials met face-to-face with Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday as they ratcheted up the pressure to halt construction of the Sunoco Mariner East 2 Pipeline until a new safety assessment can be performed on the controversial project.
The residents from Delaware and Chester counties asked the governor to use his executive authority under Title 35 to immediately halt pipeline construction and operations, and to assess the risk the project poses to the safety of communities along the route.
“The residents, all members of the bicounty, bipartisan coalition Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety, additionally demanded that the commonwealth mitigate that risk to vulnerable populations impacted by the hazardous, highly volatile liquid export pipeline,” reads a coalition release.
State Reps. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-161 of Swarthmore, and Carolyn Comitta, D-156 of West Chester, joined the residents.
The governor was presented with letters from a bipartisan group of elected officials. Urging action were U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-7 of Chadds Ford, state Sens. Andrew Dinniman, D-19, and John Rafferty, R-44, and state Reps. Becky Corbin, R-155, Duane Milne, R-167, and Comitta.
“During the meeting, residents repeatedly stressed the urgent need to address the threat to densely populated communities, and once again handed Gov. Wolf a petition containing over 6,000 signatures asking him to protect the safety of schools,” reads the release.
J.J. Abbott, Wolf’s press secretary, released the following statement Thursday afternoon: “Gov. Wolf has met with elected officials from this area and wanted to also hear from residents. He appreciated the meeting. As we have said previously, any safety assessment would have to be conducted by the PUC and Gov. Wolf would support such an assessment being done. As the PUC is the relevant authority with safety oversight over this project, if they were to perform this evaluation we would coordinate with them on how to proceed to safely and adequately assess safety concerns with this project.”
The now-under-construction Sunoco Mariner East 2 pipeline will carry highly volatile liquids and snake 350 miles across from Marcellus Shale deposits in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania to the former Sunoco Refinery in Marcus Hook, Delaware County.
Jeff Shields, Sunoco Pipeline communications manager, again repeated the company’s stance that construction is being done to the highest safety standards of the industry.
“We understand there are varying opinions on infrastructure projects such as ours, however, pipelines are the safest and most environmentally friendly way to transport the oil and gas products we use every day,” Shields said. “The mainline construction of ME2 is approximately 91 percent complete and our HDDs (Horizontal Directional Drilling) are approximately 62 percent complete. We look forward to completing our project in a timely manner. The safety of all pipelines is built into the strict federal regulations for the construction, operation and maintenance of transmission pipelines. Those include not just the Mariner East 2 system but the many natural gas and natural gas liquids pipelines that have operated safely for decades throughout the commonwealth. It is well documented that we exceed those federal safety regulations in many areas, including pipe thickness, depth, weld testing and pipeline inspection.”
The company picked up a legal victory Thursday when the state Public Utility Commission lifted an injunction against that had halted construction in West Goshen Township.
Work had been stalled since July in a dispute between the township and company over the installation and location of a valve station.
Bibianna Dussling is a Middletown resident and co-president of the Middletown Coalition for Community Safety.
“We’ve seen a rapidly growing bipartisan consensus to halt the construction and properly assess the risk of the Mariner East project,” Dussling said. “We hope the governor will take these concerns seriously and take immediate action to protect our safety.”
Caroline Hughes of East Goshen also attended the meeting.
“We expect the governor to take swift action, to use his authority to protect us, as mandated by his oath and his office,” Hughes said as leader of Goshen United for Public Safety. “Citizens are prepared to escalate our voices and demand representative action.
“We’re getting the attention of people in office that have an ability to make a change and we’re taking every opportunity to communicate the urgency of the situation.”
Comitta called on the governor to halt construction.
“I have been talking and meeting with constituents, state agency heads, township officials and Sunoco representatives regarding the Mariner East 2 project since I took office,” Comitta said. “Unfortunately, this project has experienced a record number of incidents and that is completely unacceptable.
“It’s past time to assess the safety risks so that our first responders and residents have the information they need to be safe, and it’s regrettable that this wasn’t done prior to the start of the project.”
Rebecca Britton of the Uwchlan Safety Coalition said Wolf seemed eager to learn about the group’s presentation.
She talked about Wolf’s role, and the need for him to halt construction under Title 35.
“The governor has the ability and primary responsibility to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Pennsylvania,,” Britton said.
Melissa DiBernardino said she will pull her kids form SS. Peter and Paul Elementary School if the new pipeline goes through. The planned pipeline runs less than 100 feet from several schools and a senior care center.
“While Gov. Wolf wouldn’t give an answer today, he assures us we’ll get one soon,” she said. ”I hope he sees the urgency in this. Every day he lets this continue, my children are at risk while Mariner 1 runs. Our children (and people of all ages) need a hero right now. Let’s hope he comes through within two weeks.” Source
Dec 12, 2017 WHYY Pa. lawmakers send Wolf abortion restrictions he plans to veto
Pennsylvania’s House on Tuesday voted after an impassioned debate to send a bill limiting abortions to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy to Gov. Tom Wolf, who immediately repeated his threat to veto it.
The measure would keep in place exceptions under current law for when a mother’s life is at risk, or if she could suffer a serious, permanent injury without an abortion. It does not allow exceptions for rape, incest or fetal abnormalities.
Supporters said medical advances mean premature fetuses are now able to survive at an earlier point in the pregnancy than previously possible.
The strong feelings and stark language that characterizes the abortion discussion on the national level were reflected in the House debate.
“As people try to frame this debate in terms of women’s rights, the question that begs to be asked is, what about the rights of those preborn women in the womb being exterminated?” said Rep. Dawn Keefer, R-York.
Opponents argued that parents should be allowed to make their own abortion decisions with medical input and by consulting their sources of spiritual advice.
“We have to be careful in this body that we don’t put an ideology on everybody and say that everybody has to live like this,” said Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny.
Planned Parenthood said the bill would make Pennsylvania’s abortion law among the nation’s most restrictive.
Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, said a House that is “80 percent men and 0 percent physicians” should not be making decisions for women about terminating their pregnancies. She noted that a tiny fraction of abortions currently occur after 20 weeks.
The bill “does not protect women,” said Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery. “It attempts to control them by imposing the views of some legislators on women, and I think that’s wrong — that’s morally wrong.”
The legislation also would outlaw what the bill terms “dismemberment abortion,” a phrase not used by medical professionals. It would effectively ban dilation-and-evacuation, a procedure that is the most common method of second-trimester abortion.
“Dismemberment abortion is completely inhumane, it’s barbaric,” said Rep. Kristin Phillips-Hill, R-York.
Some opponents noted that the bill had not received public hearings, while supporters said the issues have been discussed in depth for years.
“These women deserve our support, not to be maligned by politicians in Harrisburg for making medical decisions about their bodies for their families with their doctors,” Wolf said in a written statement.
The bill passed the Senate in February by a 32-18 vote. The margins in both chambers raise doubts about whether supporters will be able to muster sufficient votes to override Wolf’s promised veto. Source House votes here
Dec 6, 2017 Patch Funding Sought For New Phoenixville Rec Center, Fire Station Local leaders are working to gain support for a proposed new senior center, a combo fire station-recreation center, and a transit center.
PHOENIXVILLE, PA — Local leaders are working to gain support for a proposed new senior center, a combo fire station-recreation center, and a transit center.
Both State Rep. Warren Kampf (R-Chester/Montgomery) and State Rep. Becky Corbin (R-East Brandywine) have presented a pair of projects for funding to Harrisburg.
“Over the last 20 years, the Borough of Phoenixville has undergone very significant changes and growth,” Kampf wrote in a statement. “Population has increased, the downtown bustles with retail, restaurants and new multi-family developments, and what was once a struggling former manufacturing town has transformed itself.”
Kampf’s office added that State Sen. Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) also supports the project, giving it bipartisan support.
Funding would come through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).
Lawmakers noted that increased population has meant more and more people driving, increasing area traffic. A multi-modal transportation plan would incorporate more parking, public transit, additional trails, and other projects to make the area more walkable and bikeable.
“As Phoenixville has transformed into a thriving suburban town that serves residents from throughout the region, the need for capital improvements has increased,” Corbin said in a statement. “The Phoenixville Fire Department is in serious need of a new building given that its current home is more than one hundred years old. A multi-modal center with additional parking would alleviate some of the congestion and parking problems residents, merchants, and commuters face.”
Officials are hoping for an $8.3 million grant for the fire station and recreation and senior center, plus $4.2 million for the transit center. Source
August 31, 2017 Southern Chester County News Attorney General visits Kennett to wage war on opioid crisis
KENNETT SQUARE >> Determined to curb an opioid epidemic that is now the leading cause of death for all Americans under age 50, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro came to Kennett Square to discuss the crisis with state lawmakers, municipal officials and law enforcement officers.
“I need to know what’s happening on the ground and how my office can assist in the local efforts,” said Shapiro, who has visited eight counties in the past two days. “We need to have a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to deal with the number one public health threat in Pennsylvania – the heroin and opioid epidemic. And these forums provide a great opportunity.”
The discussion, which coincided with International Overdose Awareness Day, took place at Kennett Fire Company’s Red Clay Room, and included almost the entire Chester County legislative delegation, state Rep. Steve Barrar, state Rep. John Lawrence, state Rep. Harry Lewis, state Rep. Becky Corbin, state Rep. Warren Kampf, and state Rep. Carolyn Comitta. Also in attendance were local police chiefs from throughout Chester County and Chester County Commissioners Kathi Cozzone and Terence Farrell.
“I can’t think of a family that hasn’t been affected by this,” said Barrar.
New Garden Police Chief Gerald Simpson said more efforts must be put into educating the younger set.
“We had five (opioid-related) deaths last year,” Simpson said. “If had five fatal accidents in one year, my community would be outraged and would ask me what I plan to do about it.”
Simpson said 25 percent of the opioid-related cases his department worked on last year resulted in death.
“That’s a scary number,” he said.
Shapiro told the panel that the crisis is taxing law enforcement and first responders in a significant way. He said police sometimes return to administer Narcan to the same person multiple times. There were 4,642 drug-related deaths in Pennsylvania last year, and if nothing is done, that number will skyrocket, he said.
Dinniman said he was glad to see Shapiro make the opioid crisis a priority.
“It was a productive and comprehensive discussion,” Dinniman said. “At the end of the day, solving the opioid crisis is not going to be a one-agency issue. Rather, it’s is going to take multi-pronged and cooperative effort between law enforcement personnel, public health officials, educators and others. And one of this morning’s overriding themes was how can we take what is working in Chester County and replicate it throughout the state.”
Shapiro cited his office’s and other local and state law enforcement departments’ efforts to crack down on illegal drug dealers amid the continued use and abuse of prescription medicine.
“We’ve arrested 844 drug dealers since I took office eight months ago. We could do that every day on and on, but at the end of the day it’s not going to solve it,” he said. “Prescription drugs are the root cause of so many of these problems.”
He also discussed efforts to deactivate and dispose of unwanted or unused prescription drugs, holding opioid manufacturers accountable, and working to improve access to addiction treatment and recovery options.
Cozzone expressed concerns about young people and students being prescribed opioids for sports injuries.
Dinniman discussed Senate Bill 535, legislation that calls for opioid awareness and addiction prevention education in Pennsylvania schools. That bill was incorporated in the Pennsylvania School Code, which recently passed the Senate.
Comitta, who said she plans to talk to the local medical community about the problem, said the roundtable discussion is a great start to eradicating the problem.
“We all need to put our heads together to figure out how to combat this very complicated, very distressing opioid epidemic,” Comitta said. “It’s multi-faceted and it will take every level of government and every level of law enforcement. This is a public health crisis.”
Lawrence said here is bipartisan support among local lawmakers to attack the opioid problem.
“There are a lot of callenges, but we are talking about people’s lives,” Lawrence said. “I can tell you there is a united front on this and we will move forward. It’s an issue that all of us are searching for solutions.”
Thursday morning’s discussion was one of several events involving combating opioid abuse in Chester County that day. Later that afternoon, Dinniman joined Shapiro to announce a series of roundtable discussions at Pennsylvania colleges and institutes of higher education aimed at addressing drug and alcohol abuse, mental health and sexual assault on campus. Source
August 14, 2017 Daily Local News Elected officals seek Sunoco’s assistance for training
WEST CHESTER>>Three elected officials have joined together to request that Sunoco furnish the county with a 20-inch pipeline simulation unit for first responders to use for training.
State Sen. Tom Killion, R- 9, State Rep. Becky Corbin, R-155, and Michele Kichline, Chester County Commissioner, teamed to write a letter to Joseph McGinn, senior manager, public affairs, of Energy Transfer and the Sunoco Mariner 2 East pipeline project.
The county currently trains with an 8-inch pipe. A mock 20 inch pipe would mimic the pipeline now being constructed in the county.
Several public forums concerning the Sunoco Mariner East 2 pipeline project have attracted as many as 300 residents. Read more
June 8, 2017 6abcnews.com Proposed Pa. bill will protect those with disabilities
WEST CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) — There is a push to strengthen Pennsylvania’s hate crime laws to protect people with disabilities.State Senator Tom Killion, State Representative Becky Corbin and Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced Senate bill 7-49 on Thursday.
It’s an amendment to Pennsylvania hate crime statute of ethnic intimidation to include people with physical and mental disabilities.The announcement follows two recent attacks. One happened in West Chester, where a man with cerebral palsy was mocked and then punched in the face outside a 7-eleven. The other attack occurred in the Germantown section of Philadelphia where four young men attacked a mentally challenged man on a sidewalk. Read more
April 8, 2017 Daily Local News
PA lawmakers hear testimony on opioid epidemic
EAST BRANDYWINE >> Addiction does not discriminate.
State Rep. Becky Corbin, R-155, of East Brandywine, with Chairman of the House Majority Policy Committee, state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre/Mifflin, invited state legislators from across Pennsylvania to East Brandywine on Thursday to hear testimony on the opioid epidemic. Read more