Causer Issues Statement on Marcellus/Utica Shale Impact Bill

Causer: 75% of impact fee to stay in county

HARRISBURG – Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) issued the following statement regarding his “yes” vote on House Bill 1950, the Marcellus/Utica Shale Impact bill.

“My top priority with any impact fee bill has always been to ensure that the bulk of the money stays local. Under House Bill 1950, a full 75 percent of money generated by any impact fees enacted by a county stay in that county and its municipalities to maintain local roads and bridges, preserve and protect water supplies, and enhance emergency preparedness and public safety.

“The remaining 25 percent of impact fee revenue will be sent to the Commonwealth, but it is primarily set aside for infrastructure, environmental protection and public safety initiatives in regions where drilling is taking place. I believe this is an appropriate way to invest impact fee dollars.

“It was also important that any impact fee measure adopted by the House not put the state at a competitive disadvantage with other Marcellus Shale gas-producing states. The fee established by this legislation, along with our existing tax structure, ensures the drilling industry can continue to grow and create jobs in our region.

“To strike the right balance between environmental protection and economic development, the bill also boosts regulation to ensure the protection of our water supply.  Specifically, it increases setback requirements to keep gas wells a safe distance from streams, water wells and public water supplies.

“While the proposal initially sought to preempt all local zoning laws relative to drilling, the bill that ultimately passed the House preserves those local zoning rights. This initiative earned the support of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs.

“The bill that passed the House is still a work in progress and differs significantly from what is contained in Senate Bill 1100, which was adopted by the state Senate earlier this week. We must now work to address these differences before a final bill can be sent to the governor’s desk.”

 

State Representative Martin Causer
67th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

 


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