PRINTER'S NO.  1238

  

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA

  

SENATE BILL

 

No.

1100

Session of

2011

  

  

INTRODUCED BY SCARNATI, CORMAN, BROWNE, VOGEL, SMUCKER, D. WHITE, WARD, BRUBAKER, PIPPY, MENSCH AND YAW, MAY 16, 2011

  

  

REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, MAY 16, 2011  

  

  

  

AN ACT

  

1

Amending Title 58 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated

2

Statutes, imposing a natural gas impact fee and providing for

3

a model zoning ordinance.

4

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

5

hereby enacts as follows:

6

Section 1.  Title 58 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated

7

Statutes is amended by adding a part to read:

8

PART I

9

UNCONVENTIONAL GAS WELLS

10

Chapter

11

23.  Impact Fee

12

25.  Model Ordinance

13

CHAPTER 23

14

IMPACT FEE

15

Sec.

16

2301.  Definitions.

17

2302.  Shale Impact Fee.

18

2303.  Administration.

 


1

2304.  Well information.

2

2305.  Duties of department.

3

2306.  Meters.

4

2307.  Commission.

5

2308.  Enforcement.

6

2309.  Criminal penalties.

7

2310.  Criminal grading.

8

2311.  Enforcement orders.

9

2312.  Administrative penalties.

10

2313.  Regulations.

11

2314.  Recordkeeping.

12

2315.  Examinations.

13

2316.  Local distribution of fee.

14

2317.  Statewide environmental initiatives.

15

§ 2301.  Definitions.

16

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter

17

shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the

18

context clearly indicates otherwise:

19

"Account."  The Shale Impact Account.

20

"Average annual price of natural gas."  The arithmetic mean

21

of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) Henry Hub settled

22

price on the last trading day of each month of a calendar year

23

as reported by the Wall Street Journal for the 12-month period

24

ending December 31.

25

"Barrel."  A barrel of 42 U.S. gallons of natural gas

26

liquids.

27

"Commission."  The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

28

"Department."  The Department of Environmental Protection of

29

the Commonwealth.

30

"Eligible applicants."  A county, municipality, council of

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1

governments, watershed organization, institution of higher

2

education, nonprofit organization, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat

3

Commission or an authorized organization as defined in 27

4

Pa.C.S. § 6103 (relating to definitions).

5

"Fee."  The Shale Impact Fee imposed under section 2302

6

(relating to Shale Impact Fee).

7

"Highway mileage."  The number of miles of public roads and

8

streets most recently certified by the Department of

9

Transportation as eligible for distribution of liquid fuels

10

funds under the act of June 1, 1956 (1955 P.L.1944, No.655),

11

referred to as the Liquid Fuels Tax Municipal Allocation Law.

12

"Marginal gas well."  An unconventional gas well capable of

13

severing more than 60,000 cubic feet of gas per day during a

14

calendar month, but incapable of severing more than 90,000 cubic

15

feet of gas per day during a calendar month, including

16

production from the zones and multilateral well bores at a

17

single well, regardless of whether the production is metered

18

separately.

19

"Municipality."  A borough, city, town or township.

20

"Natural gas."  A fossil fuel consisting of a mixture of

21

hydrocarbon gases, primarily methane, and possibly including

22

ethane, propane, butane, pentane, carbon dioxide, oxygen,

23

nitrogen and hydrogen sulfide and other gas species. The term

24

includes natural gas from oil fields known as associated gas or

25

casing head gas, natural gas fields known as nonassociated gas,

26

coal beds, shale beds and other formations. The term does not

27

include coal bed methane.

28

"Natural gas liquids."  Hydrocarbons in natural gas which are

29

separated from the gas as liquids through the process of

30

absorption, condensation, adsorption or other methods in gas

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1

processing of cycling plants.

2

"Number of producing unconventional wells."  The most recent

3

numerical count of producing unconventional wells on the

4

inventory maintained and provided to the commission by the

5

department as of the last day of each month.

6

"Price adjustment factor."  One of a range of numerical

7

values used to compute the adjusted fee under section 2302

8

(relating to Shale Impact Fee). The price adjustment factor

9

shall be determined as follows:

10

(1)  If the average annual price of natural gas is less

11

than $5.01, the price adjustment factor shall be five.

12

(2)  If the average annual price of natural gas is $5.01

13

to $6.00, the price adjustment factor shall be equal to the

14

sum of the average annual price plus one.

15

(3)  If the average annual price of natural gas is $6.01

16

to $7.00, the price adjustment factor shall be equal to the

17

sum of the average annual price plus two.

18

(4)  If the average annual price of natural gas is $7.01

19

to $8.00, the price adjustment factor shall be equal to the

20

sum of the average annual price plus three.

21

(5)  If the average annual price of natural gas is

22

greater than $8.00, the price adjustment factor shall be

23

equal to the sum of the average annual price plus five.

24

"Producer."  A person or its subsidiary, affiliate or holding

25

company that holds a permit or other authorization to engage in

26

the business of severing natural gas for sale, profit or

27

commercial use from an unconventional well in this Commonwealth.

28

The term shall not include a producer that severs natural gas

29

from a site used to store natural gas that did not originate

30

from the site.

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1

"Unconventional well."  A bore hole drilled or being drilled

2

for the purpose of or to be used for producing oil or gas from a

3

geological formation existing below the base of the Elk

4

Sandstone or its geologic equivalent stratigraphic interval

5

where oil or gas generally cannot be produced at economic flow

6

rates or in economic volumes except by vertical or horizontal

7

well bores stimulated by hydraulic fracture treatments or by

8

using multilateral well bores or other techniques to expose more

9

of the formation of the well bore.

10

"Unit."

11

(1)  A thousand cubic feet of natural gas measured at the

12

wellhead at a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and an

13

absolute pressure of 14.73 pounds per square inch in

14

accordance with American Gas Association Standards and

15

according to Boyle's Law for the measurement of gas under

16

varying pressures with deviations as follows:

17

(i)  The average absolute atmospheric pressure shall

18

be assumed to be 14.4 pounds to the square inch,

19

regardless of elevation or location of point of delivery

20

above sea level or variations in atmospheric pressure

21

from time to time.

22

(ii)  The temperature of the gas passing the meters

23

shall be determined by the continuous use of a recording

24

thermometer installed to properly record the temperature

25

of gas flowing through the meters. The arithmetic average

26

of the temperature recorded each 24-hour day shall be

27

used in computing gas volumes. If a recording thermometer

28

is not installed, or is installed and not operating

29

properly, an average flowing temperature of 60 degrees

30

Fahrenheit shall be used in computing gas volume.

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1

(iii)  The specific gravity of the gas shall be

2

determined annually by tests made by the use of an

3

Edwards of Acme gravity balance, or at intervals as

4

necessary. Specific gravity determinations shall be used

5

in computing gas volumes.

6

(iv)  The deviation of the natural gas from Boyle's

7

Law shall be determined by annual tests or at other

8

shorter intervals as necessary. The apparatus and method

9

used in making the test shall be in accordance with

10

recommendations of the National Bureau of Standards or

11

Report No. 3 of the Gas Measurement Committee of the

12

American Gas Association. The results of the test shall

13

be used in computing the volume of gas delivered under

14

this chapter.

15

(2)  In the case of natural gas produced in liquid form,

16

a unit shall be measured on a 1,000 cubic feet equivalent

17

basis, determined using the ratio of 6,000 cubic feet of

18

natural gas to one barrel of natural gas liquids.

19

"Vertical gas well."  An unconventional well which begins as

20

a vertical linear bore and is not intentionally deviated from

21

the vertical.

22

"Volume adjustment factor."  One of a range of numerical

23

values used to compute the adjusted fee under section 2302

24

(relating to Shale Impact Fee). The volume adjustment factor

25

shall be determined as follows:

26

(1)  If the annual units of production are less than

27

21,901, the volume adjustment factor shall be zero.

28

(2)  If the annual units of production are 21,901 to

29

90,000, the volume adjustment factor shall be 0.2.

30

(3)  If the annual units of production are 90,001 to

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1

180,000, the volume adjustment factor shall be 0.3.

2

(4)  If the annual units of production are 180,001 to

3

360,000, the volume adjustment factor is 0.4.

4

(5)  If the annual units of production are 360,001 to

5

750,000, the volume adjustment factor is 0.5.

6

(6)  If the annual units of production are 750,001 to

7

1,000,000, the volume adjustment factor is 0.6.

8

(7)  If the annual units of production are 1,000,001 to

9

1,350,000, the volume adjustment factor is 0.7.

10

(8)  If the annual units of production are greater than

11

1,350,001, the volume adjustment factor is 0.8.

12

§ 2302.  Shale Impact Fee.

13

(a)  Imposition.--Beginning January 1, 2010, there shall be

14

imposed a Shale Impact Fee on each unconventional well producing

15

gas in this Commonwealth.

16

(b)  Fee.--The fee shall consist of a base fee of $10,000 for

17

each unconventional well subject to the following adjustments:

18

(1)  The fee shall be adjusted by multiplying the base

19

fee amount times the volume adjustment factor times the price

20

adjustment factor rounded to the nearest $100.

21

(2)  If the natural gas severed from more than one

22

unconventional well is measured by a single wellhead meter,

23

the combined volumes of gas produced shall be divided by the

24

number of unconventional wells and each producer of an

25

unconventional well shall use this quotient in determining

26

its volume adjustment factor.

27

(3)  The fee for a marginal gas well or vertical gas well

28

shall be $10,000 and shall not be subject to adjustment under

29

paragraph (1).

30

§ 2303.  Administration.

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1

(a)  Commission.--On or before January 31 of each year, the

2

commission shall calculate and determine the average annual

3

price of natural gas for the previous calendar year.

4

(b)  Notice.--Notice of the average annual price shall be

5

provided to producers of unconventional wells and shall be

6

published on the commission's Internet website.

7

(c)  Method.--If publication of the New York Mercantile

8

Exchange (NYMEX) Henry Hub settled price is discontinued, the

9

average annual price of natural gas then in effect shall not be

10

adjusted until a comparable method to determine the average

11

annual price of natural gas is adopted by commission rule. If

12

the base data of the NYMEX Henry Hub settled price is

13

substantially revised, the commission shall make appropriate

14

changes to ensure that the average annual price of natural gas

15

is reasonably consistent with the result that would have been

16

attained had the substantial revision not been made.

17

(d)  Report.--By March 1, 2012, and each March 1 thereafter,

18

each producer shall submit a report and payment of the fee with

19

the commission on a form prescribed by the commission for the

20

previous calendar year. The report shall include the following:

21

(1)  Annual units of production severed by the producer

22

for each unconventional well for the reporting period.

23

(2)  The number of producing unconventional wells of a

24

producer in each county and municipality.

25

(e)  Report and fee for 2010.--For calendar year 2010, a

26

report pursuant to subsection (d)(1) and (2) shall be filed by

27

August 1, 2011, and the fee due shall be paid as follows:

28

(1)  Fifty percent of the fee shall be paid by August 1,

29

2011.

30

(2)  Fifty percent of the fee shall be paid by November

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1

1, 2011.

2

(f)  Fee due date.--Except as provided under subsection

3

(e)(2), the fee shall be due on the day the report is required

4

to be filed. The fee shall become delinquent if not remitted to

5

the commission on the reporting date.

6

(g)  Cost.--Beginning March 2, 2012, and each March 2

7

thereafter, the commission shall determine the reasonable annual

8

cost to collect and distribute the fee in accordance with this

9

chapter and shall deduct that amount from the total amount of

10

fees collected under this chapter. On August 1, 2011, the amount

11

to collect and distribute the fee may be deducted from the total

12

amount of fees collected for 2010. Fees collected under this

13

section are hereby annually appropriated to the commission to

14

carry out its duties under this chapter.

15

§ 2304.  Well information.

16

(a)  List.--The department shall provide the commission with

17

a list of all unconventional wells that have received a drilling

18

permit from the department. The list shall be updated on a

19

monthly basis.

20

(b)  Updates.--A producer subject to the fee shall notify the

21

commission of the following within 30 days after a calendar

22

month in which the change occurs:

23

(1)  The initiation of production at a well or the

24

removal of a well from production.

25

(2)  The use of a different accredited laboratory to

26

issue a wellhead meter certification.

27

§ 2305.  Duties of department.

28

(a)  Confirmation of payment.--Prior to issuing a permit to

29

drill an unconventional well in this Commonwealth, the

30

department shall determine whether the producer has paid all

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1

fees owed under section 2302 (relating to Shale Impact Fee).

2

(b)  Prohibition.--The department shall not issue a permit to

3

drill an unconventional well until all fees owed under section

4

2302 that are not in dispute have been paid to the commission.

5

§ 2306.  Meters.

6

A producer who drills an unconventional well in this

7

Commonwealth shall provide and maintain a wellhead meter at the

8

unconventional well that is tested, calibrated and maintained in

9

accordance with industry standards approved by the commission. A

10

wellhead meter installed after the effective date of this

11

section shall be a digital meter. Wellhead meters shall not be

12

subject to 3 Pa.C.S. Ch. 41 (relating to weights and measures). 

13

Multiple wells located on the same drilling pad may utilize the

14

same meter subject to section 2302(b)(2) (relating to Shale

15

Impact Fee).

16

§ 2307.  Commission.

17

(a)  Powers.--The commission shall have the authority to make

18

all inquiries and determinations necessary to calculate and

19

collect the fee imposed under this chapter, including, if

20

applicable, interest and penalties.

21

(b)  Notice.--If the commission determines that the fee has

22

not been paid in full, it may issue a notice of the amount due

23

and demand for payment and shall set forth the basis for the

24

determination.

25

(c)  Address.--Notice of failure to pay the correct fee shall

26

be sent to the producer at its registered address via certified

27

mail.

28

(d)  Time period.--The commission may challenge the amount of

29

a fee paid under this chapter within three years after the date

30

the report under section 2303(d) (relating to administration) is

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1

filed.

2

(e)  Intent.--If no report is filed or a producer files a

3

false or fraudulent return with the intent to evade the fee, an

4

assessment of the amount owed may be made at any time.

5

§ 2308.  Enforcement.

6

(a)  Assessment.--The commission shall assess interest on any

7

delinquent fee at the rate prescribed under section 806 of the

8

act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.343, No.176), known as The Fiscal

9

Code.

10

(b)  Penalty.--In addition to the interest under subsection

11

(a), if a producer fails to make timely payment of the fee,

12

there shall be added to the amount of the fee due a penalty of

13

5% of the amount of the fee if failure to file a timely payment

14

is for not more than one month, with an additional 5% penalty

15

for each additional month, or fraction of a month, during which

16

the failure continues, not to exceed 25% in the aggregate.

17

(c)  Timely payment.--If the commission determines that a

18

producer has not made a timely payment of the fee, the

19

commission shall send a written notice of the amount of the

20

deficiency to the producer within 30 days from the date of

21

determining the deficiency. If the producer has not provided a

22

complete and accurate statement of the volume of gas extracted

23

for the payment period, the commission may estimate the volume

24

in its deficiency notice.

25

(d)  Remedies.--The remedies provided under this chapter are

26

in addition to any other remedies provided at law or in equity.

27

(e)  Lien.--Fines, fees, interest and penalties shall be

28

collectible in the manner provided by law for the collection of

29

debts. If the producer liable to pay any amount neglects or

30

refuses to pay the amount after demand, the amount, together

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1

with costs which may accrue, shall be a judgment in favor of the

2

Commonwealth upon the property of the producer, but only after

3

the judgment has been entered and docketed of record by the

4

prothonotary of the county where the property is situated. The

5

Commonwealth may transmit to the prothonotaries of the

6

respective counties certified copies of the judgments, and it

7

shall be the duty of each prothonotary to enter and docket the

8

same of record in his office and to index each judgment, without

9

requiring the payment of costs as a condition precedent to the

10

entry of the judgment.

11

§ 2309.  Criminal penalties.

12

(a)  Offense defined.--It shall be unlawful for any producer

13

to:

14

(1)  Intentionally make or cause to be made a false or

15

fraudulent report under this chapter with the intent to

16

defraud the Commonwealth.

17

(2)  Refuse to permit the commission or its authorized

18

agents to examine books, records or papers or hinder or

19

obstruct the commission in the performance of a duty under

20

this chapter.

21

(3)  Violate 18 Pa.C.S. § 4903 (relating to false

22

swearing) or 4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to

23

authorities), including a violation in providing or preparing

24

information required by this chapter.

25

(4)  Intentionally fail to make timely payment of the

26

fee.

27

(b)  Probable cause.--If the commission believes that

28

probable cause of a violation under this section exists, the

29

commission shall refer the case to the Attorney General for

30

investigation.

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1

§ 2310.  Criminal grading.

2

(a)  Summary offense.--Except as set forth in subsection (b),

3

a producer that willfully violates this chapter or an order

4

issued under this chapter commits a summary offense and shall,

5

upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than

6

$100 nor more than $1,000 and costs or to a term of imprisonment

7

for not more than 30 days, or both.

8

(b)  Misdemeanor offense.--A producer that commits a second

9

or subsequent violation of this chapter or an order of the

10

commission commits a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction, be

11

sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $1,000 but not more

12

than $10,000 per day for each violation or to imprisonment for a

13

period of not more than one year, or both.

14

(c)  Violations.--Each violation for each separate day and

15

each violation of this chapter or order issued under this

16

chapter shall constitute a separate offense under subsection (a)

17

or (b).

18

§ 2311.  Enforcement orders.

19

(a)  Issuance.--The commission may issue an order as

20

necessary to enforce this chapter. An order issued under this

21

section shall take effect upon notice, unless the order

22

specifies otherwise. An appeal of the order must be in

23

accordance with 66 Pa.C.S. Ch. 3 Subch. B (relating to

24

investigations and hearings).

25

(b)  Compliance.--A producer has the duty to proceed

26

diligently to comply with an order issued under subsection (a).

27

If a producer fails to proceed diligently or to comply with an

28

order within the time required, the producer shall be guilty of

29

contempt and shall be punished by the court in an appropriate

30

manner. The commission shall apply to the Commonwealth Court,

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1

which shall have jurisdiction over matters relating to contempt.

2

§ 2312.  Administrative penalties.

3

(a)  Civil penalties.--In addition to any other proceeding

4

authorized by law, the commission may assess a civil penalty

5

upon a producer for the violation of this chapter. In

6

determining the amount of the penalty, the commission shall

7

consider the willfulness of the violation and other relevant

8

factors.

9

(b)  Separate offense.--Each violation for each separate day

10

and each violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate

11

offense.

12

(c)  Limitation of actions.--Notwithstanding any limitation

13

in 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 55 Subch. B (relating to civil actions and

14

proceedings), an action under this section must be brought

15

within three years of the violation.

16

(d)  Procedure.--A penalty under this chapter is subject to

17

66 Pa.C.S. Ch. 3 Subch. B (relating to investigations and

18

hearings).

19

§ 2313.  Regulations.

20

The commission shall promulgate regulations necessary to

21

enforce this chapter.

22

§ 2314.  Recordkeeping.

23

A producer liable for the fee imposed under this chapter

24

shall keep records, make reports and comply with regulations of

25

the commission. If necessary, the commission may require a

26

producer to make reports, render statements or keep records as

27

the commission deems sufficient to determine liability for the

28

fee.

29

§ 2315.  Examinations.

30

(a)  Access.--The commission or its authorized agents or

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1

representatives shall:

2

(1)  Have access to the books, papers and records of any

3

producer in order to verify the accuracy and completeness of

4

a report filed or fee paid under this chapter.

5

(2)  Require the preservation of all books, papers and

6

records for any period deemed proper not to exceed three

7

years from the end of the calendar year to which the records

8

relate.

9

(3)  Examine any employee of a producer under oath

10

concerning the severing of natural gas subject to a fee or

11

any matter relating to the enforcement of this chapter.

12

(4)  Compel the production of books, papers and records

13

and the attendance of all individuals who the commission

14

believes to have knowledge of relevant matters in accordance

15

with 66 Pa.C.S. (relating to public utilities).

16

(b)  Unauthorized disclosure.--Any information obtained by

17

the commission as a result of any report, examination,

18

investigation or hearing under this chapter shall be

19

confidential, except for official purposes, in accordance with

20

judicial order or as otherwise provided by law. An individual

21

unlawfully divulging the information commits a misdemeanor and

22

shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine or not more

23

than $1,000 and costs of prosecution or to imprisonment for not

24

more than one year, or both.

25

§ 2316.  Local distribution of fee.

26

(a)  Establishment.--There is hereby established a restricted

27

receipts account to be known as the Shale Impact Account to be

28

administered by the commission.

29

(b)  Deposit.--All fees imposed shall be deposited into the

30

account.

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1

(c)  Conservation districts.--

2

(1)  For 2010, $2,500,000 from the account shall be

3

distributed to county conservation districts.

4

(2)  For 2011, $5,000,000 from the account shall be

5

distributed to county conservation districts.

6

(3)  For 2012, and every year thereafter, $7,500,000 from

7

the account shall be distributed to county conservation

8

districts.

9

(4)  Funds under paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) shall be

10

distributed in accordance with the following:

11

(i)  One-half shall be distributed by dividing the

12

amount equally among conservation districts.

13

(ii)  One-half shall be distributed using a formula

14

that divides the annual amount appropriated to each

15

county conservation district by the county from the

16

county general fund, special fund and grant sources by

17

the amount appropriated to county conservation districts

18

by counties from the county general fund, special fund

19

and grant sources and multiplying the resulting

20

percentage by the funds available.

21

(d)  Distribution.--Following distribution under subsection

22

(c), 60% of the revenues remaining in the account are hereby

23

appropriated for the purposes authorized under this section.

24

Local governments are encouraged, where appropriate, to jointly

25

fund projects that cross jurisdictional lines. The commission 

26

shall distribute the funds appropriated under this subsection as

27

follows within 45 days after the date the fee is remitted:

28

(1)  Thirty-six percent shall be distributed to counties

29

in which producing unconventional gas wells are located. The

30

amount for each county shall be determined using a formula

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1

that divides the number of producing unconventional gas wells

2

in the county by the number of producing unconventional gas

3

wells in this Commonwealth and multiplies the resulting

4

percentage by the amount available for distribution under

5

this paragraph.

6

(2)  Thirty-seven percent shall be distributed to

7

municipalities in which producing unconventional gas wells

8

are located. The amount for each municipality shall be

9

determined using a formula that divides the number of

10

producing unconventional gas wells in the municipality by the

11

number of producing unconventional gas wells in this

12

Commonwealth and multiplies the resulting percentage by the

13

amount available for distribution under this paragraph.

14

(3)  Twenty-seven percent shall be distributed to

15

municipalities located in a county in which producing

16

unconventional gas wells are located. The amount available

17

for distribution in each county shall be determined by

18

dividing the number of producing unconventional gas wells in

19

the county by the number of producing unconventional gas

20

wells in this Commonwealth and multiplying the resulting

21

percentage by the amount available for distribution under

22

this paragraph. The resulting amount available for

23

distribution in each county in which producing unconventional

24

gas wells are located shall be distributed to each

25

municipality in the county regardless of whether an

26

unconventional gas well is located in the municipality as

27

follows:

28

(i)  One-half shall be distributed to each

29

municipality using a formula that divides the population

30

of the municipality within the county by the total

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1

population of the county and multiplies the resulting

2

percentage by the amount available for distribution to

3

the county under this subparagraph.

4

(ii)  One-half shall be distributed to each

5

municipality using a formula that divides the highway

6

mileage of the municipality within the county by the

7

total highway mileage of the county and multiplies the

8

resulting percentage by the amount available for

9

distribution to the county under this subparagraph.

10

(e)  Use of funds.--A county or municipality receiving funds

11

under this subsection shall make use of funds received only for

12

the following purposes:

13

(1)  Construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair

14

of roadways, bridges and public infrastructure.

15

(2)  Water, storm water and sewer systems, including

16

construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair.

17

(3)  Emergency preparedness and public safety, including

18

police and fire services.

19

(4)  Environmental programs, including trails, parks and

20

recreation, open space, flood plain management, conservation

21

districts and agricultural preservation.

22

(5)  Preservation and reclamation of surface and

23

subsurface waters and water supplies.

24

(6)  Tax reductions, including homestead exclusions.

25

(7)  Records management, geographic information systems

26

and information technology.

27

(8)  To provide safe and affordable housing to residents.

28

§ 2317.  Statewide environmental initiatives.

29

(a)  Deposit and distribution.--Following distribution under

30

section 2316(c), 40% of the revenues in the account are hereby

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1

appropriated for distribution by the commission as follows:

2

(1)  Eighty percent to the Commonwealth Financing

3

Authority to be utilized for grants to eligible applicants

4

for the following purposes:

5

(i)  To implement acid mine drainage abatement and

6

cleanup efforts, mine reclamation and to plug abandoned

7

and orphaned oil and gas wells.

8

(ii)  Grants for watershed protection as defined in

9

27 Pa.C.S. § 6103 (relating to definitions).

10

(iii)  Planning and enforcement authorized under

11

section 6 of the act of January 24, 1966 (1965 P.L.1535,

12

No.537), known as the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act.

13

(iv)  Water, storm water and sewer systems, including

14

construction, reconstruction, maintenance and repair.

15

(v)  The planning, acquisition, development,

16

rehabilitation and repair of greenways, recreational

17

trails, open space, natural areas, community conservation

18

and beautification projects, community and heritage parks

19

and forest conservation.

20

(vi)  Flood control and dam safety projects,

21

including the removal of dams where appropriate.

22

(2)  Ten percent to the Motor License Fund.

23

(3)  Ten percent to the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund.

24

(b)  Restriction on use of proceeds.--

25

(1)  Funds shall not be granted to an eligible applicant

26

for the purpose of public relations, outreach,

27

communications, lobbying or litigation.

28

(2)  No property purchased using revenue generated under

29

this section may be conveyed or resold to another entity

30

without approval from the Department of Conservation and

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1

Natural Resources.

2

(3)  Grants may not be used by an authorized organization

3

as defined in 27 Pa.C.S. § 6103 for land acquisition unless

4

the authorized organization has obtained the written consent

5

of the county and municipality in which the land is situated.

6

(c)  Coordination with other agencies.--The department and

7

the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources shall

8

review applications for funding as requested by the Commonwealth

9

Financing Authority and provide recommendations on priority of

10

projects and project approval for consideration by the

11

Commonwealth Financing Authority.

12

CHAPTER 25

13

MODEL ORDINANCE

14

Sec.

15

2501.  Model municipal ordinance.

16

2502.  Local ordinance.

17

§ 2501.  Model municipal ordinance.

18

(a)  Purposes.--The purposes of this section are as follows:

19

(1)  To optimize the development and use of this

20

Commonwealth's oil and gas reserves by increasing reasonable

21

consistency in zoning and other municipal regulation.

22

(2)  To foster expeditious and efficient handling of

23

municipal oil and gas permitting procedures.

24

(3)  To allow municipalities to enact regulations under

25

the act of July 31, 1968 (P.L.805, No.247), known as the

26

Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, and the act of

27

October 4, 1978 (P.L.851, No.166), known as the Flood Plain

28

Management Act, insofar as the regulation is authorized by

29

section 2502 (relating to local ordinance) and this section.

30

(b)  Authority.--The commission shall develop and adopt a

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1

model ordinance to fulfill the purposes of this section.

2

(c)  Adoption of provisions.--

3

(1)  Within 120 days of the effective date of this

4

section, the commission shall, by majority vote, adopt a

5

model ordinance for counties and municipalities pertaining to

6

oil and gas drilling activities in accordance with the

7

Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code, as applicable, the

8

Flood Plain Management Act and this section.

9

(2)  The model zoning ordinance shall do all of the

10

following:

11

(i)  Authorize oil and gas development as a permitted

12

use by right in all zoning districts except residential

13

districts. The commission may develop a model zoning

14

ordinance that allows oil and gas development in

15

residential zoning districts by conditional use or

16

special exception with conditions dependent on the

17

density of existing uses within the district and the

18

isolation distances achievable in each residential

19

district.

20

(ii)  Authorize natural gas compression stations:

21

(A)  as a permitted use by right in all

22

agricultural, industrial and commercial districts;

23

and

24

(B)  as a conditional use in all other zoning

25

districts.

26

(iii)  Authorize natural gas processing plants:

27

(A)  as a permitted use by right in all

28

industrial districts; and

29

(B)  as a conditional use or special exception in

30

agricultural districts.

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1

(3)  The model zoning ordinance shall not do any of the

2

following:

3

(i)  Impose limitations on the hours of operation on

4

drilling operations.

5

(ii)  Impose limitations on noise, light, height or

6

security or fencing on drilling operations, natural gas

7

compressor stations or natural gas processing plants if

8

the limitations are more stringent than limitations

9

imposed on construction activities for other similar land

10

uses. The model zoning ordinance may include limitations

11

on noise, light, height and security and fencing for

12

equipment or processes which are unique to the gas

13

industry and which are rational, nondiscriminatory and

14

reasonably defensible in the particular zone where they

15

apply.

16

(iii)  Have a permit review period for uses by right

17

that exceeds 30 days for complete and responsive

18

submissions.

19

(iv)  Impose restrictions on vehicular access routes

20

for overweight vehicles except as authorized under:

21

(A)  75 Pa.C.S. (relating to vehicles); or

22

(B)  the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning

23

Code.

24

(v)  Regulate storm water, erosion and sedimentation

25

control or grading where the use is subject to regulation

26

by the department through an Erosion and Sedimentation

27

Control General Permit or similar permit.

28

(4)  Nothing in this subsection shall limit or preempt a

29

county or municipality from action pursuant to the act of

30

October 4, 1978 (P.L.864, No.167), known as the Storm Water

- 22 -

 


1

Management Act.

2

(d)  Effect of model ordinance.--An ordinance adopted by a

3

county or municipality to regulate oil and gas shall not contain

4

more stringent standards than the model ordinance adopted by the

5

commission.

6

(e)  Timing.--The commission shall publish the adopted model

7

ordinance in the Pennsylvania Bulletin immediately after its

8

adoption and shall disseminate information about the model

9

ordinance through the Department of Community and Economic

10

Development, municipal associations and other means as the

11

commission shall deem appropriate. The costs of the notification

12

shall be borne by the Department of Community and Economic

13

Development.

14

(f)  Miscellaneous.--The commission shall review the model

15

ordinance annually. Proposed amendments shall be published in

16

the Pennsylvania Bulletin within 30 days after their adoption.

17

(g)  Ordinance.--If an ordinance adopted by a county or

18

municipality contains more stringent standards than the model

19

ordinance, the county or municipality shall be ineligible to

20

receive funding under sections 2316 (relating to local

21

distribution of fee) and 2317 (relating to environmental

22

initiatives).

23

(h)  Effective date of model ordinance.--The model ordinance

24

shall take effect 70 days following the commission's publication

25

of the ordinance in the Pennsylvania Bulletin under this

26

section.

27

§ 2502.  Local ordinance.

28

Nothing in this chapter shall impair or infringe upon the

29

preemption or supersedure of the regulation of gas wells under

30

section 602 of the act of December 19, 1984 (P.L.1140, No.223),

- 23 -

 


1

known as the Oil and Gas Act.

2

Section 2.  This act shall take effect as follows:

3

(1)  This section shall take effect immediately.

4

(2)  The addition of 58 Pa.C.S. § 2501 shall take effect

5

immediately.

6

(3)  The remainder of this act shall take effect in 30

7

days.

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