Pa. proposes gas drilling health advisory panel

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A leading Pennsylvania politician wants to create an advisory panel to look at possible health issues related to Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.

Senator Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, is sponsoring Senate Bill 555. The proposed 13-member panel would look at potential public health impacts from drilling and at potential health benefits. The members wouldn’t be paid and it’s not clear how much funding will be needed.

Bernard Goldstein of the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health says he supports the proposal.

Patrick Henderson, Gov. Tom Corbett’s energy executive, says the administration looks forward to working with Scarnati on the bill.

Last year legislative leaders and the governor’s office eliminated a $2 million proposal to fund a statewide registry to track health issues related to drilling.

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