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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 21, 2018 03:25 PM
From: Senator Lisa Baker
To: All Senate members
Subject: Economic Justice for DRBC Takings
For years, landowners in the Delaware River drainage basin have lived under a gas drilling moratorium imposed on them by the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC). This moratorium has prevented impacted landowners from realizing the economic benefits that accrue to landowners in nearly every other part of Pennsylvania.

Now, the DRBC, with support from the Wolf administration, is turning that moratorium into a permanent ban.
As a matter of policy, this action seems a serious misjudgment. As a matter of fairness, it is even worse, for it slams the door of opportunity on affected landowners by significantly diminishing the value of their property. In my judgment, such deprivation of property rights constitutes a “taking” just the same as if the property were condemned for a transportation project or for any other public use.

As a result, this economic justice proposal declares that a ban implemented by the DRBC will constitute a taking that must be paid for by the DRBC. The legislation will provide that impacted landowners will be entitled to compensation calculated in the same manner as is used to determine value in any other eminent domain action.

Introduced as SB1189