Day Votes in Favor of Marcellus Impact Fee
HARRISBURG – Rep. Gary Day (R-Lehigh/Berks) this week cast a supportive vote to impose regulations on the drilling industry in the Marcellus Shale and authorize affected counties to impose a fee to help with drilling-related activity.
“This legislation is a reasonable way to govern an industry that is just taking off in Pennsylvania,” Day said. “We needed to strike a fair balance so that the industry can grow and continue to offer a wealth of economic development opportunities while making sure they pay to protect our natural resources and compensate local communities for the impacts being caused.
“We need to ensure that the appropriate controls are in place to protect public health and safety, and this legislation is a great step forward in leading Pennsylvania into a fair and reasonable governmental regulatory environment,” he added.
To view a short video clip of Rep. Day’s comments, click on this link:
House Bill 1950, which passed the House on Thursday, establishes a set of strict guidelines to ensure environmental protection and authorizes counties to collect impact fees on the wells located in their areas. The proceeds will be split 75 percent and 25 percent to local and state governments, respectively, and will help to offset the costs related to drilling activity. Much of the revenue will benefit infrastructure, including roads, highways, water and sewer systems, along with emergency response and environmental issues.
Day said this legislation reflects a compromise in that it is the result of important but diverse viewpoints from across Pennsylvania, and seeks to tie the fee revenue directly to the impact of the activity. He favors an impact fee, rather than a severance tax, to ensure fairness.
“When a severance tax was before the House almost two years ago, it was used as a way to fund pet projects and to further state spending, which is contrary to the wishes of our local residents,” Day said. “The intent behind this legislation now is to ensure equitable compensation to communities and the Commonwealth that have been impacted by drilling.
“All good public policy must represent diverse ideas from across Pennsylvania,” Day continued. “House Bill 1950 is a legislative product that is based on a fee for service and its resulting impacts. I strongly believe that this way of governance is more transparent and objective, and I am hopeful we will move to govern more parts of state affairs where compromise is the overall result.”
The legislation now moves to the Senate for its consideration.
State Representative Gary Day
187th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Jennifer Keaton