By a vote of 107-76, the Pennsylvania House of Representative approved a Marcellus Shale impact fee and regulatory measure yesterday, House Bill 1950. Under the House version, counties would be allowed to implement a fee on producing wells at a rate of up to $40,000 per well in the first year and decreasing annually to $10,000 in years four through ten. The House bill includes environmental provisions, including a measure that would increase the setback distance between a well and any nearby waterways or buildings, as well as an increase in bonding requirements and penalties, and increase the required information to be released on hydraulic fracturing chemicals. Similar to the Senate bill that was passed earlier in the week, the House bill would set a state standard for local zoning ordinances related to oil and gas operations, and authorize the attorney general to determine whether municipal rules go too far. Find more information here.
As referenced above and as we reported earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Senate also passed a bill this week that would enact a slightly heftier impact fee and address certain environmental concerns. Differences between the two proposals will be reconciled over the next few weeks in an aim to get a bill to the governor's desk before session end in mid-December.