Crowd gathers outside Governor’s office protesting provisions in budget

Members of local activist organizations spoke out against provisions in the Pennsylvania budget outside of Governor Tom Wolf’s Pittsburgh office Wednesday morning.

Protesters, sponsored by Clean Water Action, Group Against Smog and Pollution, Sierra Club, Clean Air Council, Earthworks, Moms Clean Air Force, Food and Water Watch, are not in favor of a provision within Tax Code Bill (HB 542) that would create an Air Quality Permit Advisory Committee. The group believes this committee would negatively impact the environment and residents because a “legislative-dominant body would have veto authority over any environmental regulation or permit.”

According to Clean Water Action, the provision in the budget will “sacrifice clean air, clean water, and public health.”

Jamin Borgi, Policy and Outreach Coordinator at Group Against Smog and Pollution says “This budget deal isn’t a negotiation, it’s a surrender.”

Ron Slabe, Spokesperson for Upper Burrell Citizens Against Marcellus Pollution, and former teacher told RabbleVID that he would advise the governor not to “compromise environmental rights.”

According to Steve Hvozdovich of Clean Water Action, this group sent over 800 letters to the Governor’s office in addition to thousands of emails urging the Wolf administration to protect PA residents, finalize methane controls, and not to pass a budget that contains these provisions.