Cutler Supports Legislation to Increase Environmental Protections and Allow Natural Gas Drilling Impact Fee
11/17/2011
HARRISBURG – Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) today voted in favor of legislation that would allow counties to impose a natural gas drilling impact fee and would increase environmental oversight of drilling operations. He released the following statement regarding his support of House Bill 1950:

“This legislation is about empowering counties to decide whether or not an impact fee is warranted to address the strains on infrastructure, roads and bridges, water supplies, and emergency services in communities where natural gas drilling is taking place. The majority of the fees collected would be used by these communities to rectify issues caused by drilling activities. The 25 percent share collected by the state would be used specifically for statewide programs that manage drilling-related issues, such as emergency response training, enforcement of pipeline standards, health-related education pertaining to drilling, closing of abandoned wells and transportation maintenance.

“One aspect of the bill I am particularly happy with is that it would allow local governments to have a voice in determining where drilling occurs. The original language of the bill was much more stringent regarding local control issues, but the final language is supported by the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs and Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors. It also addresses public notification and access to vital information, which are particularly important to me as a steward of transparency.

“The bill goes a long way to address the potential environmental impact of drilling. It would increase setback distances for drilling from waterways and public water supplies and wells. It would enhance the Department of Environmental Protection’s oversight of drilling operations, and gives the department approval powers over water management plans. It also requires the department to consider municipal comments and to establish protocol for the detection, quantification and reporting of air contaminant emissions.

“Ultimately, this legislation would permit the Commonwealth and communities within the drilling area to address and rectify the impact of drilling, while allowing Pennsylvania to remain competitive with other states seeking to lure job-creating natural gas drilling companies elsewhere. This legislation, while not perfect, is a balance between our environmental protection requirements and our economic development needs.”

More information about Cutler and his legislative priorities is available at www.RepCutler.com or www.Facebook.com/RepBryanCutler.


State Representative Bryan Cutler
100th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Nicole Wamsley
nwamsley@pahousegop.com
717.783.8063
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