Programming Note: StateImpact On All Things Considered | StateImpact Pennsylvania Skip Navigation

Programming Note: StateImpact On All Things Considered

A programming note: a StateImpact Pennsylvania report on local zoning restrictions within the latest impact fee legislation will air on NPR’s All Things Considered this afternoon. (We’ll post a link once the story goes live on
Looking for a refresher on how the legislation limits municipalities’ ability to regulate drilling? Here’s our primer on the issue:

The leg­is­la­tion requires munic­i­pal­i­ties’ ordi­nances to “pro­vide for the rea­son­able devel­op­ment of min­er­als.” What’s rea­son­able? By and large, that’s for the Attor­ney Gen­eral and the Com­mon­wealth Court to decide. But the bills both set para­me­ters local gov­ern­ments would be required to follow.
Munic­i­pal­i­ties would have to:

  • Com­plete per­mit reviews within thirty days.
  • Allow oil and gas oper­a­tions and impound­ment pools in all zones, includ­ing residential.
  • Allow com­pres­sor sta­tions and nat­ural gas pro­cess­ing plants in agri­cul­tural and indus­trial zones.
  • Keep drilling reg­u­la­tions in line with exist­ing con­struc­tion and indus­trial zon­ing. That means a town­ship wouldn’t be able to set one stan­dard for noise emit­ted by com­pres­sor sta­tions, and another for fac­to­ries within its borders.

The leg­is­la­tion also sets a manda­tory 300-foot buffer zone between well pads and res­i­den­tial build­ings. Com­pres­sor sta­tions would need to be 750 feet from build­ings, and could not exceed a sound of 60 deci­bels at the adjoin­ing prop­erty line.

Up Next

How Science And Politics Mix - Or Don't - In Washington