With all the focus on Marcellus Shale, it is nice to see that PADEP Secretary Mike Krancer has made "Revitalizing Brownfields and Grayfield Properties" one of his top three priorities for the Department. He said that much in his opening statement before the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee just last week. That is very encouraging for all of us who are actively engaged in the redevelopment of brownfield properties in Pennsylvania. Secretary Krancer also made clear during the same hearing that he is committed to being guided by principles of sound science. Sound science is at the foundation of Pennsylvania's Act 2 program. During the last administration, sound science took a back seat to politics when the Science Advisory Board proposed revising the cleanup standard for MTBE as part of the revisions to the Chapter 250 regulations, but that proposal was dropped before the regulations became final. All of the SAB's other proposed changes were made, except for the revised standard for MTBE, even though the scientific formula used to calculate the revised MTBE standard was the same one used by the SAB to calculate every other cleanup standard that was eventually adopted by the EQB as part of that reg package. One of the first things the Secretary can do to back up his commitment to both sound science and a revitalized brownfield program is to ask the SAB and the Land Recycling Program staff in Central Office to revisit the MTBE standard and to tell them that he is willing to go wherever the science leads them.
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