I write to submit my comments to the public record on Sunoco LP/Energy Transfer’s Horizontal Directional Drilling Analysis for the installation of a 20” pipeline at HDD S3-03-0360 - Biddle Crossing. Read more
This week in Harrisburg my colleagues and I participated in our last scheduled voting session of the year. On Wednesday, we passed two pieces of bipartisan legislation improving access to and coverage for mental health treatment, which I was proud to cosponsor. Read more
I hope all is well and everyone is staying safe! As we enter the fall and winter months, we are preparing for flu season while we continue to face the challenges of this global pandemic. Read more
Back in April, my staff and I created a list of resources to help connect seniors and their families with the services they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage you to refer to that list for important information about our State and County Departments of Aging, as well as resources for seniors in need of meals, economic assistance, and more. The list below contains additional resources and suggestions to help seniors stay safe and beat boredom and isolation in the coming fall and winter months. If you have suggestions for the list, please contact my office at email@example.com . COVID AND FLU RESOURCES Nasal Swab COVID-19 Testing Chester County offers nasal swab diagnostic tests for individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms or who have had a known exposure to someone with COVID-19 and live or work in Chester County. Testing is offered at multiple sites, and registration is required. Visit the county website for registration and an up-to-date weekly schedule of dates, times, and locations. Free Flu Shots The single most effective protection against the flu is getting a flu vaccine. It is recommended that everyone aged 6 months and older receive a flu vaccine every year. It’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both spread this fall and winter. Healthcare systems could be overwhelmed treating both patients with flu and patients with COVID-19. The flu and COVID-19 have many similar symptoms (cough, Read more
ROYERSFORD, Oct. 15 — State Reps. Danielle Friel Otten and Melissa Shusterman today announced that Royersford secured a $428,000 Recreation and Conservation grant to rehabilitate an area trail. Funding comes from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and will go toward increasing ADA access, landscaping and other related site improvements on the Royersford Trestle Bridge. “I’m glad to see this project gaining more momentum,” Shusterman said. “Restoring this trail creates a great outdoor recreation opportunity for community members, and I’m pleased that this funding will help everyone of all abilities utilize it.” “Restoring the Royersford Trestle Bridge will make pedestrian and bicycle travel a safe, easy and appealing option between Royersford and the Borough of Spring City, just across the Schuylkill River,” Otten said. “This expands opportunities for business and community while providing us with a new way to enjoy our beautiful surroundings. Strengthening ADA access ensures that all residents will be able to benefit from this project.” The investments are among 41 grants supported by the Keystone and Environmental Stewardship funds, ATV and Snowmobile restricted accounts and federal Pennsylvania Recreational Trails funds awarded statewide, totaling approximately $7.6 million for trail projects including planning, construction and rehabilitation, as Read more
With so much happening in the world these past few weeks, I want to make sure this piece of good news for Pennsylvania families doesn’t get lost in the shuffle: Last month, Pennsylvania announced the launch of its new state-based health insurance marketplace, "Pennie." Read more
UPPER UWCHLAN TOWNSHIP, Oct. 8 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, announced today that a $109,300 state conservation grant was awarded to expand Marsh Creek State Park. The grant, approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, was awarded to Natural Lands Trust toward the acquisition of approximately 2.7 acres in Upper Uwchlan Township to be added to the park. “Marsh Creek State Park connects people to the outdoors and adds tremendous quality of life to the region,” Otten said. “I appreciate the administration working with my office to see the value in an investment here, and I look forward to helping direct more state dollars to the 155 th Legislative District.” Otten also passed legislation in the House in 2019 adding land for trails, wetlands and wildlife habitat for Marsh Creek State Park. DCNR grants help communities and nonprofit organizations in Chester County and across Pennsylvania acquire land for public parks and open space to be enjoyed by all for generations to come. DCNR supports land conservation and acquisition through several methods, including: The acquisition of lands that are added to state parks, state forests and state game lands. Grant funding assistance for acquisition of trail corridors, recreations areas, greenways, critical habitat and other open space by local government or nonprofit organizations. Grant funding Read more
Last week, I shared information about safe, secure, and legal options for casting your vote in the General Election. This week, my office has received calls and emails from dozens of constituents concerned about HR1032 and attempts to interfere with the election. Read more
This week, our Chester County Commissioners shared some important updates about the November 3 general election and the measures the County is taking to ensure that this election is held safely, securely, and efficiently. Read more
EAST PIKELAND, Sept. 24 – State Rep. Danielle Friel-Otten, D-Chester, today announced the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources awarded $366,725 in grants to three communities in her legislative district. Details of grant recipients and projects are as follows: East Pikeland Township: $192,000 toward constructing a dog park, pedestrian walkway, pavilions, parking area, a community garden and fencing, ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements to Township Park. East Brandywine Township: $61,725 toward creating a parking area and horticultural garden, improving ADA access, enhancing landscaping and related site improvements to Bondsville Mill Park. West Vincent Township: $113,000 awarded to Natural Lands Trust Inc., toward building a pedestrian bridge and boardwalk, improved ADA access, landscaping and other related site improvements to Bryn Coed Preserve. “Upgrading our area’s parks helps to create a stronger sense of community and safely bring people together,” Otten said. “I’m proud to help bring this funding home, and I look forward to seeing these projects benefit residents of all ages. I applaud our local communities’ proactive efforts to promote outdoor recreation and create public spaces that enhance the quality of life for our neighbors.” The DCNR Recreation and Conservation grant program is funded with a Read more
Recently I’ve received a lot of questions from friends, neighbors, and constituents about the COVID-19 situation in Chester County and what it means for our schools. Read more
Today, I visited southern Chester County, in the nearby district of Rep. Christina Sappey, along with our neighboring legislator Rep. Dan Williams. We gathered to honor a group of brave men from our three legislative districts who came together during a flash flood just weeks ago to save a family that was swept away in their car by a rising creek. Read more
Rep. Otten's September 2020 newsletter highlighting a pipeline/environmental update, grants awarded to the district, voting by mail and more. Read more
Yesterday we wrapped up a busy week of session, where election system efficiency was front-and-center. The House debated and voted on HB 2626, a bill that would effectively ban remote drop boxes and move the deadline for requesting a mail-in ballot from seven days before an election to 15 days before the election. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 25 – Chester County’s Democratic state Reps. Dan Williams, Danielle Friel-Otten and Kristine Howard announced that Coatesville Area School District, Chester County Intermediate Unit and 21st Century Cyber Charter School each received grant funding to improve educational services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Awardees are schools designated for Additional Targeted Support and Improvement under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Grants were awarded as follows: Coatesville Area School District: North Brandywine Middle School: $68,542. Rainbow Elementary School: $60,320. Reeceville Elementary School: $38,494. Coatesville Area Senior High School: $56,148. Chester County Intermediate Unit: $96,353. 21st Century Cyber Charter School: $38,371. “Ensuring that each student has the tools they need to succeed this academic year will be more complex compared to years prior. I’m proud to see these schools receive this much-needed funding so children can safely continue to learn as we work toward mitigating COVID-19 throughout our community and our commonwealth,” Williams said. “Pennsylvania’s schools were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and historically underserved students are likely to be the most impacted. I am grateful for this additional funding, which will help ensure a successful, safe and productive Read more
UPPER UWCHLAN, Aug. 21 – State Rep. Danielle Friel-Otten, D-Chester, today announced that $1.3 million in grants has been awarded to three communities throughout her legislative district to help upgrade water and sewer infrastructure projects. The funding will be distributed through two grant programs by the Commonwealth Financing Authority . Details of grant recipients and projects are follows: H2O PA grants: Upper Uwchlan Township Municipal Authority: $463,996 to extend the township’s sanitary sewer system to properties that currently have failing on-site septic tanks. Borough of Phoenixville: $650,000 to upgrade the borough’s wastewater treatment plant to include hydrothermal carbonization, a process that converts organic matter to a carbon-rich, coal-like product called hydrochar. PA Small Water and Sewer grant: West Brandywine Township Municipal Authority: $254,316 to renovate four pump stations at Culbertson Run, Swinehart and Reeceville Roads. “These grants will help to address the waste management needs of our communities and ensure that current and future needs are met without further burdening taxpayers ,” Otten said. “Additionally, these projects will benefit our environment as they seek to reduce energy consumption, and, in Phoenixville’s case, decrease waste sent to landfills by using biosolids and food waste to create marketable end products. Read more
HARRISBURG, Aug. 14 – State legislators representing five House districts and three Senatorial districts in Chester County have signed a letter to secretary Patrick McDonnell of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, secretary Dr. Rachel Levine of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and Chairwoman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission calling for an immediate halt to Mariner East pipeline construction and a revocation of Energy Transfer’s permits in Chester County. “Pennsylvanians have a constitutional right to clean water, clean air and the preservation of our state’s vast natural resources, but time and time again, construction on the Mariner East pipeline has violated that right,” state Sen. Katie Muth, Berks/Chester/Montgomery, said. “This latest incident further proves that construction cannot be carried out safely. All state-issued permits for the Mariner East pipeline in Chester County must be revoked.” “In just the past month, we’ve had more than a dozen serious events at Mariner East pipeline sites in Chester County, endangering our waters, ecosystems, and public health and safety,” state Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, said. “We’ve had sinkholes along Business Route 30 at one segment of the Mariner pipeline, hundreds of thousands of gallons of water pouring out of a hillside at another, pipeline Read more
Chester County has been plagued yet again by a recent string of Mariner East pipeline construction incidents. Read more
Aug. 11, 2020 – Late yesterday afternoon, drilling fluid from a Mariner East horizontal directional drilling (HDD) site upstream of Marsh Creek State Park spilled into a tributary of Marsh Creek Lake and ultimately into the lake itself in an incident the industry refers to as an “inadvertent return” (IR). Sunoco/Energy Transfer initially claimed that 1,000 gallons of drilling fluid were spilled from the site, along pipeline segment HDD-290 in Upper Uwchlan Township. As of 2 p.m. on August 11, the PA Department of Environmental Protection has increased that estimate to at least 10,000 gallons. The pipeline operator has set up barriers and vac trucks in an attempt to contain and mitigate the damage, but as photos and videos sent to my office by constituents living along the path of the spill indicate, these efforts are far too little, too late. The actual volume of the spill and the full extent of this damage are not yet known. The DEP, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Fish & Boat Commission have been on site to survey the damage. Marsh Creek Lake is one of our greatest treasures in Chester County and in the 155th Legislative District. It is an important habitat for fish, birds, turtles, amphibians, and other land and aquatic wildlife, and a drinking water source for Downingtown Municipal Water Authority and Aqua PA’s West Chester division. Like the dozens of constituents who have called, Read more
EXTON, July 14 – State Rep. Danielle Friel-Otten today voted against legislation that would provide a state tax credit to petrochemical manufacturers, demanding that the General Assembly “do better” than giving away tax money to out-of-state companies putting their chemical refineries in Pennsylvania. According to the Department of Revenue, if signed into law, H.B. 732 could result in $22 million in lost tax revenue per year, with giveaways to multinational corporations to expand plastics and petrochemical manufacturing in Pennsylvania. “When we talk about tax fairness, that conversation doesn’t include the people of Pennsylvania shouldering property tax hikes while petrochemical companies get kickbacks and sweetheart deals invented by the very politicians who have existed for decades on fossil fuel campaign contributions,” Otten said. “This cycle must stop if we want to see any change in this state.” Otten also mentioned that the legislation goes against the strides that Pennsylvania has made in restoring and preserving residents’ health since the COVID-19 crisis began. “Two weeks ago, Attorney General Josh Shapiro shared a grand jury report that specifically outlined how fracking can have severe impacts on human health, and now we are seeing how living with pollution-induced illness has compounded the impact of COVID-19 in frontline communities, disproportionately Read more
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