House leader defends new Pa. drilling law - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

House leader defends new Pa. drilling law

  • More NewsMore>>

  • Fracking foes cringe as unions back drilling boom

    Fracking foes cringe as unions back drilling boom

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:25 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:25:56 GMT
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale fracking boom.That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit drilling.The Laborers' International Union, or LIUNA, says that construction work its members do on large pipeline jobs in Pennsylvania and ...More >>
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale fracking boom.That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit drilling.The Laborers' International Union, or LIUNA, says that construction work its members do on large pipeline jobs in Pennsylvania and ...More >>
  • Ohio hog farms hit by disease that kills baby pigs

    Ohio hog farms hit by disease that kills baby pigs

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:22 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:22:01 GMT
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Hog farms in Ohio are reporting cases of a relatively new disease that kills newborn pigs.The state's agriculture department says it has recorded a couple hundred confirmed cases of the virus across Ohio.The disease first found a year ago causes baby pigs to become dehydrated and die.Severe strains of the virus can wipe out a farm's entire supply of baby pigs.The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently said the die-off has had a hand in shrinking the nation's pig herd by 3...More >>
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Hog farms in Ohio are reporting cases of a relatively new disease that kills newborn pigs.The state's agriculture department says it has recorded a couple hundred confirmed cases of the virus across Ohio.The disease first found a year ago causes baby pigs to become dehydrated and die.Severe strains of the virus can wipe out a farm's entire supply of baby pigs.The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently said the die-off has had a hand in shrinking the nation's pig herd by 3...More >>
  • Gender gap under Ohio governor nearly $10 an hour

    Gender gap under Ohio governor nearly $10 an hour

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:13 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:13:55 GMT
    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A newspaper investigation has found the average pay gap between men and women in the offices of four of Ohio's five elected statewide officials has grown to almost $10 an hour, as it's shrunk to under a dollar across the rest of state government.The Dayton Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1jWcGS7 ) women working in Republican Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-siks) office earn $9.81-an-hour less, on average, than men. That's the highest gender pay gap among statewide officeholders...More >>
    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A newspaper investigation has found the average pay gap between men and women in the offices of four of Ohio's five elected statewide officials has grown to almost $10 an hour, as it's shrunk to under a dollar across the rest of state government.The Dayton Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1jWcGS7 ) women working in Republican Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-siks) office earn $9.81-an-hour less, on average, than men. That's the highest gender pay gap among statewide officeholders...More >>

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) - House Speaker Sam Smith said Thursday it's "outrageous" for doctors to suggest that Pennsylvania's new Marcellus Shale law could gag them from talking to their patients about chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process.

The Jefferson County Republican said the chemical disclosure provision of the law was pushed by environmental groups and replicates language used on the federal level for decades.

Smith released a statement a day after The Associated Press reported that some medical professionals are concerned because they will have to sign a confidentiality agreement in return for access to proprietary information on chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Some doctors, including the president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, say the provision could have a chilling effect on research and on doctors' ability to diagnose and treat patients who have been exposed.

"Doctors will be able to provide all of the information needed to discuss any patient ailment," Smith said. "It is outrageous to think, let alone for anyone to portray, that the state would actually 'gag' a doctor in treating a patient. It is irresponsible for an organization to try and create such hysteria."

Smith did not name the organization but his spokesman, Steve Miskin, said Smith was referring to the Pennsylvania Medical Society. Miskin said the medical society has never approached legislative leaders with any concerns about the bill. He called the confidentiality provision a non-issue.

"It's akin to yelling fire in a crowded theater and that's what they have done," Miskin said.

A spokesman for the medical society had no immediate comment Thursday evening.

The disclosure provision, borrowed from a new Colorado regulation, requires drillers to reveal the identity and amounts of "any chemicals claimed to be a trade secret" to any health professional for treating a patient who may have been exposed. In return, the doctor must agree to hold the information in confidence.

The medical society has said the law is too vague, and that doctors will need explicit guidance on the limitations.

But Smith said the law allows companies to protect trade secrets while mandating disclosure to health professionals.

"We thought this was a good, proactive approach. Now Pennsylvania has the most progressive hydraulic fracturing disclosure law in the nation," he said. "It is designed for transparency and access, and it provides unfettered access to physicians or other medical professionals who need information to treat their patients."

The speaker's statement didn't address the other major issue raised by the AP story, the loss of research money into the potential public health impacts of drilling.

The House version of the shale bill gave the Health Department up to $2 million annually for new research, and for a statewide registry to track people with illnesses potentially related to drilling, a top agency priority.

Such a registry could reveal patterns of illness near natural gas development, provide data on any toxic exposures, and ultimately help researchers draw conclusions about drilling and public health.

But the money was stripped during last-minute negotiations between Republican leaders in the House and Senate and the administration of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.

Miskin said negotiators felt there could be "alternative methods" of information gathering, including reliance on county health offices and private research institutions.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • SpotlightSpotlightMore>>

  • Updated

    The Scrappers host “POPS at the Ballpark” featuring the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

    The Scrappers host “POPS at the Ballpark” featuring the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-04-15 18:04:57 GMT
    NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra are excited to host one of the Valley's premiere summer events, POPS at the Ballpark,More >>
    NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra are excited to host one of the Valley's premiere summer events, POPS at the Ballpark, presented by Stanley E. Shearer with Northwestern Mutual and 21 WFMJ on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at Eastwood Field.More >>
  • Around the WebMore>>

  • GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

    GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

    Sunday, April 20 2014 10:52 AM EDT2014-04-20 14:52:53 GMT
    Sales of GM-brand vehicles in China should reach 5 million next year, and Cadillac sales will double to 100,000, the president of General Motors said Sunday.More >>
    The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million.More >>
  • Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:03:14 GMT
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
  • Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:31:46 GMT
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms