|Posted:||December 11, 2018 09:09 AM|
|From:||Senator Andrew E. Dinniman and Sen. Thomas H. Killion|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Pipeline Emergency Response Fund|
Citizens living near natural gas and natural gas liquids pipelines have raised significant concerns regarding the emergency response in the event of a pipeline emergency. In response, emergency responders have invested portions of their own general funds for training, education, and purchasing equipment to respond to pipeline emergencies. While it is vital for our emergency responders to have access to the training and equipment needed to protect the public, we strongly believe that funding to combat this new danger should come from the companies profiting from its use. Therefore, we will be reintroducing SB 929 from last session, requiring those pipeline companies introducing this new threat to communities, to provide funding to support emergency responders and their efforts.
The legislation covers pipelines subject to PUC regulation and those non-PUC natural gas and liquid pipelines that are subject to Act 127 safety regulation. It authorizes counties to enact an ordinance to impose a fee on all covered pipelines in the county. If the county does not enact an ordinance, each municipality in the county is authorized to impose the fee on the pipelines in the county (provided the total number of municipalities that do so constitute 50% or more of the population of the county). The funding is distributed only to those counties or municipalities (that enacted an ordinance) based on the total distance of pipelines in each county or municipality (that enacted an ordinance).
While the counties and municipalities can act to impose the fee, the PUC administers and enforces the program and distributes the funding. One percent of the revenues are for PUC administrative costs. The fee is calculated as 5% of a pipeline operator’s total gross intrastate operating revenues for the transportation of the pipeline contents through the pipeline within PA for the immediately preceding calendar year. The revenue goes into a new fund for distribution. The distribution is split 85%-15% with the greater percentage going to preventive measures with a 60%-40% split for counties and municipalities. Any remainder after distribution of the incident response portion is distributed for preventive measures.
Co-sponsors of SB 929 last session included Senators Boscola, Rafferty, Killion and McGarrigle. We hope you will join us in sponsoring this legislation.