Rabb announces legislation amending CHRIA to ensure public health transparency

HARRISBURG, Sept. 22 – State Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Phila., today announced that he has drafted legislation (H.B. 1704) that would amend the Criminal History Record Information Act to ensure disclosure of public health and community safety risks.

Public health reports from 2016 and 2023 revealed that there is an extensive list of contaminants in the Dimock water supply in Pennsylvania. However, CHRIA prohibits the Office of Attorney General from disclosing the results of its independent report analyzing the Dimock water supply.

This legislation would provide exceptions for CHRIA that allow the public to be notified of public health and community safety risks and would require the Office of Environmental Justice to investigate information pertaining to potential or prospective harm to public health.

Should the Office of Environmental Justice find there is a public health risk, it would be required to provide a notice on its publicly accessible website, which would state there is a public health risk and include a summary of the public health risk.

“The public has a right to information regarding potential health hazards,” Rabb said. “We cannot allow polluters to pollute our environment anywhere across our commonwealth under the veil of benign government bureaucracy.”

Rabb is a founding member of the Pennsylvania Climate Caucus and serves on the board of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.