Cutler Supports Marcellus Shale Impact Fee Compromise
2/8/2012
HARRISBURG – Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) today voted with the majority of his colleagues in the House and Senate to support a legislative compromise allowing counties to impose an impact fee on unconventional gas wells.

“If I were to draft impact fee legislation, it would not look exactly like this bill, but House Bill 1950 represents the best compromise to move forward with a natural gas drilling impact fee,” said Cutler. “This legislation preserves local zoning rights. Organizations representing local governments, such as the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors and the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, have asked legislators to support this compromise. Their endorsement signifies to me that House Bill 1950 will benefit local communities and give them a voice in land use issues.”

House Bill 1950 was approved by the House in November 2011. In December, the House would not agree to the Senate’s amendments so the bill went to conference committee. The Senate approved the conference committee report yesterday.

House Bill 1950 will allow counties in which unconventional wells are drilled to impose an impact fee. If a county does not act to impose a fee, there are two options by which municipalities may compel the county to impose a fee.

The fee will be based on several factors, including the average price of natural gas. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) will administer fee collection.

Revenue collected from the fee will be split between the state and local governments. The state share will fund initiatives such as environmental protection programs, conservation districts, emergency response coordination, programs for first responders, and the Natural Gas Energy Development Program. Local funds may be used for projects such as road maintenance, construction and repairs; water, storm water, and sewer system construction, maintenance and repairs; emergency preparedness and public safety; environmental programs, water reclamation and preservation; tax reductions; and affordable housing.

“Some of this money will go to fund the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, which helps to clean up contaminated industrial sites,” said Cutler. “We have seen the impact of this program locally with residents in the Intercourse area benefitting from temporary water treatment systems because groundwater and soil in the area is contaminated with organic chemicals. This is a program that helps to reclaim polluted sites, with a real and lasting impact on human health and safety. I am pleased this legislation will ensure the continuation of this important program.”

House Bill 1950 will now go before the governor for his signature.

More information about Cutler and his legislative priorities is available at RepCutler.com or 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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