There will be new chairmen leading the state House and Senate environmental committees next session.
The retirement of Sen. Mary Jo White, R-Venango, and successful bid for her seat by Rep. Scott Hutchinson, R-Venango, means there are new faces at the helm of those panels in both chambers.
While the three-year push for major drilling legislation concluded with a new law in February, there likely will continue to be smaller changes needed as pipelines continue to grow and the Marcellus activity enters yet another phase of development.
Beginning in January, Rep. Ron Miller of York will replace Hutchinson as the majority chairman of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
Sen. Gene Yaw, a Republican from Lycoming County -- one of the most active drilling areas in the state's Northern Tier -- will chair the Senate equivalent.
The House panel also will have a new ranking minority member, Democratic Rep. Greg Vitali of Delaware County, who has been vocal on continuing to beef up environmental rules for drillers and on crafting a gas severance tax. He replaces retiring Rep. Bud George of Clearfield County.
The Senate Democratic list of committee leadership was not yet available, but Sen. John Yudichak of Luzerne was the ranking Democrat on the environmental panel last session.