Pennsylvania

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How Pennsylvania’s Impact Fee Would Restrict Local Zoning

Scott Detrow / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Both impact fee bills bar local governments from barring drilling in residential zones

Here’s StateImpact’s All Things Considered report on how the latest version of a Marcellus Shale impact fee would restrict local governments’ ability to regulate hydraulic fracturing and drilling activity.

The full report:

A new Pennsylvania law could curb municipalities’ ability to zone and regulate hydraulic fracturing — “fracking.” And that raises questions about how much say a local government should have over what goes on within its borders.

State lawmakers are grappling with how to update the commonwealth’s decades-old Oil and Gas Act to catch up with a natural gas drilling boom.

Right now, local regulations on where drilling rigs can go, how loudly they operate and how far they need to be from buildings differ from community to community. Pennsylvania lawmakers who support the natural gas drilling industry are trying to standardize the rules across the state.

“It can be like the equivalent of needing to get a new driver’s license for every state that you go through when you’re traveling,” says Kathryn Klaber, head of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, which represents drillers in Pennsylvania.

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