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Acting Administrator Wheeler Visits Western Pennsylvania

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Canonsburg, PA — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler visited Western Pennsylvania to meet with environmental and industry stakeholders. This visit marked Administrator Wheeler’s first state visit since being sworn in as head of EPA.

“Thanks to the success of President Trump’s agenda, including EPA’s regulatory reform efforts, Western Pennsylvania is experiencing an economic revival,” said Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “It’s vitally important that we continue to meet with stakeholders in the states – industry and environmental groups alike – to solicit their input and provide them certainty and clarity with respect to EPA’s actions.”

Administrator Wheeler began his trip in Canonsburg, Penn. where he toured Range Resources, a petroleum and natural gas exploration company, and held a roundtable with company employees. At the roundtable, the Administrator heard firsthand from employees about the importance of maintaining a robust energy presence in the region to help keep energy prices low and stimulate the local economy.  

Following his tour of Range Resources, Administrator Wheeler attended a Washington County Chamber of Commerce roundtable hosted by AccuTrex, a local manufacturer that employs over 150 workers. Administrator Wheeler was joined by Washington County Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Kotula, AccuTrex CEO Martin Beichner, and other county business leaders. They discussed a variety of topics, including how EPA can provide more certainty to businesses while promoting positive environmental outcomes. 

“Range Resources appreciates Administrator Wheeler and his staff taking time to see the great work our employees and contractors are doing on a daily basis, and we look forward to continually working with the regulatory community to safely develop oil and gas. Range, along with many of our peers, is implementing best-in-class emissions management technologies and practices on our natural gas well sites. Not only is the Marcellus the largest natural gas field in the country, but it is also a leading hub for engineering solutions and technological advancement within the industry, which we were proud to show the Administrator and his team today,” said Range Resources Sr. Vice President of Operations Dennis Degner.

“The Washington County Chamber of Commerce was pleased to host Acting Administrator Wheeler today in Washington County, PA. We had a great discussion with him concerning balancing economic development, job creation and business growth with our continuing responsibilities to the environment. In Washington County, we have been at the forefront of these efforts and were proud to relay our experiences to Mr. Wheeler and look forward to working with him in his new role,” said Washington County Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Kotula.

“We appreciate Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler visiting our region and seeing firsthand industry’s commitment to employing the latest environmental technologies that ensure the safe production of American natural gas. The Marcellus and Utica Shale formations represent enormous opportunity for our nation’s economic and national security, particularly as it relates to rebuilding our domestic manufacturing base for generations to come, and we are deeply committed to environmental sustainability. Acting administrator Wheeler’s agenda – focused on commonsense policies and smart regulations that encourage the responsible natural gas development – will help ensure that the United States continues to emerge as a dominant global energy leader,” said Marcellus Shale Coalition President David Spigelmyer.

After holding a roundtable with local business leaders, Acting Administrator Wheeler visited the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in Pittsburgh with President and CEO Tom Saunders and staff to hear about their work to restore and preserve the region’s clean water supply, forests, and wildlife. The focus of the meeting was on the organization’s work throughout the state, particularly in regard to abandoned mine lands and watershed conservation.

“The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is appreciative of the opportunity to discuss its conservation priorities with the acting administrator during his initial set of stakeholder-outreach meetings. The EPA has been an important conservation partner supporting many Conservancy-related projects over the years, including watershed restoration efforts, abandoned mine drainage work, and habitat studies,” said Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Spokesperson Carmen Bray.

Administrator Wheeler concluded his trip sitting down with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial Board and took questions on his vision for the Agency.