A top state Senate Republican is calling for the creation of a nine-member panel to review public health data related to Marcellus Shale gas drilling.
In a co-sponsorship memo on his proposal, Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, suggested that the panel be composed of doctors, scientists, academics and gas industry officials. Members would be appointed by the governor and legislative caucus leaders.
One draft of the shale drilling bill approved in February, now known as Act 13, earmarked funding for a Department of Health registry of illnesses occurring near drilling sites. That $2 million was redirected in the final plan.
Action on the bill is unlikely this session, with only six Senate session days remaining. An aide to Mr. Scarnati said the proposal was announced to start a discussion on creating such a health panel.