PRINTER'S NO. 232
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
261
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY DINNIMAN, KILLION AND KEARNEY, FEBRUARY 7, 2019
REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, FEBRUARY 7, 2019
AN ACT
Amending Title 58 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes, providing for pipeline emergency response fee and
establishing the Pipeline Emergency Response Fund.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Title 58 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
Statutes is amended by adding a chapter to read:
CHAPTER 28
PIPELINE EMERGENCY RESPONSE FEE
Sec.
2801. Definitions.
2802. Pipeline emergency response fee.
2803. Administration.
2804. Pipeline information.
2805. Powers and duties of commission.
2806. Enforcement.
2807. Enforcement orders.
2808. Administrative penalties.
2809. Recordkeeping.
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2810. Examinations.
2811. Distribution of fee.
§ 2801. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Commission." The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
"Common carrier." A common carrier as defined in 66 Pa.C.S.
§ 102 (relating to definitions).
"Fee." The pipeline emergency response fee imposed under
section 2802 (relating to pipeline emergency response fee).
"Fund." The Pipeline Emergency Response Fund established
under section 2811 (relating to distribution of fee).
"Municipality." A borough, city, town or township.
"Natural gas." A fossil fuel consisting of a mixture of
hydrocarbon gases, primarily methane, which may include ethane,
propane, butane, pentane, carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen and
hydrogen sulfide and other gas species. The term includes
natural gas from oil fields known as associated gas or casing
head gas, natural gas fields known as nonassociated gas, coal
beds, shale beds and other formations. The term does not include
coal bed methane.
"Operator." An operator or owner of a pipeline.
"Pipeline." Any of the following:
(1) A pipeline used for transporting or conveying
natural or artificial gas, crude oil, gasoline or petroleum
products for the public for compensation that is operated or
owned by a common carrier that is regulated by one or both of
the following:
(i) the commission as a public utility as defined in
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paragraph (1)(v) of the definition of public utility in
66 Pa.C.S. § 102 (relating to definitions); or
(ii) the Federal Government under the Pipeline
Safety Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-508, 49 U.S.C. § 60101
et seq.).
(2) A pipeline subject to regulation under the act of
December 22, 2011 (P.L.586, No.127), known as the Gas and
Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act.
§ 2802. Pipeline emergency response fee.
(a) General rule.--The governing body of a county that has a
pipeline located within the county's borders may elect to impose
a fee on the pipelines located in the county.
(b) Passage of ordinance.--Within 60 days of the effective
date of this section, the governing body of a county under
subsection (a) may adopt an ordinance to impose a fee. The
governing body of a county shall notify the commission and give
public notice of the county's intent to adopt the ordinance.
(c) County ordinance.--The ordinance imposing a fee under
subsection (b) shall be clear and in language that is readily
understandable by a layperson and shall be in the following
form:
The county of (insert name) hereby imposes a pipeline
emergency response fee on pipelines located in this
county.
(d) Prohibition.--
(1) A county subject to this section in which the
governing body does not adopt an ordinance imposing a fee
shall be prohibited from receiving money under section 2811
(relating to distribution of fee), unless paragraph (2)
applies.
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(2) The prohibition on receiving money under paragraph
(1) shall remain in effect as to the county until the county
adopts an ordinance imposing a fee. The prohibition shall
expire as to the county and money may be received for the
calendar year following the adoption of an ordinance imposing
the fee under this section.
(e) Alternate imposition.--
(1) If the governing body of a county does not impose a
fee under subsection (a), the municipalities in the county
may compel the imposition of a fee on pipelines located in
the county by adopting resolutions under paragraphs (2), (3)
and (4).
(2) (i) Following 60 days, but not more than 120 days
after the effective date of this section, if the
governing bodies of at least half of the municipalities
located in a county or municipalities representing at
least 50% of the population of the county adopt
resolutions to impose fees on pipelines located in the
county, the fee shall take effect.
(ii) If a resolution is adopted, a copy of the
resolution shall be transmitted to the governing body of
the county and the commission.
(iii) The governing body of a municipality that is
located in more than one county shall transmit a copy of
a resolution adopted under this paragraph to the
governing body of each county in which the municipality
is located.
(3) The transmittal of resolutions by governing bodies
under paragraph (2) shall constitute an imposition of the fee
in the county. The population of a municipality that is
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located in more than one county shall be determined
separately for each county on the basis of the municipality's
population within each county.
(4) Resolutions adopted under this subsection shall be
framed in the following form:
The (insert name of municipality) in the County of
(insert name) hereby resolves to have the county
impose a pipeline emergency response fee on pipelines
located in the county.
(5) A municipality that is located in a county that does
not adopt an ordinance imposing a fee and does not adopt a
resolution under paragraphs (2), (3) and (4) shall be
prohibited from receiving money under section 2811(c).
(f) Fee and amount.--
(1) The fee adopted under subsection (b) or (e) shall be
imposed on every operator and applies to pipelines located in
this Commonwealth.
(2) The fee shall be calculated by multiplying 5% by an
operator's total gross intrastate operating revenues for the
transportation of natural gas through a pipeline within this
Commonwealth for the immediately preceding calendar year.
§ 2803. Administration.
(a) Fee due date.--The fee imposed under this chapter shall
be due by April 1, 2020, and each subsequent April 1. The fee
shall become delinquent if not remitted to the commission on the
reporting date.
(b) Report.--By April 1, 2020, and each subsequent April 1
of each year, each operator shall submit payment of the fee to
the commission and a report on a form prescribed by the
commission for the previous calendar year.
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(c) Costs of commission.--Annually an amount equal to 1% of
the money received by the commission shall be allocated to the
commission for administrative costs.
§ 2804. Pipeline information.
(a) List.--Within 60 days of the effective date of this
section, the commission shall maintain and update a list of all
pipelines subject to this chapter.
(b) Annual updates.--An operator subject to the fee shall
annually notify the commission of the following:
(1) The total volume and total revenues from the
transportation of natural gas through the pipeline within
this Commonwealth for the immediately preceding calendar
year.
(2) Any change in the classification of pipelines.
§ 2805. Powers and duties of commission.
(a) General rule.--The commission may make all inquiries and
determinations necessary to calculate and collect the fee,
administrative charges or assessments imposed under this
chapter, including, if applicable, interest and penalties.
(b) Notice.--If the commission determines that the fee has
not been paid in full, the commission may issue a notice of the
amount due and demand for payment and shall identify the basis
for the determination.
(c) Address.--Notice of failure to pay the correct fee shall
be sent to the operator via certified mail.
(d) Time period.--Except as specified in subsection (e), the
commission may challenge the amount of a fee paid within three
years after the date the report under section 2803(b) (relating
to administration) is submitted.
(e) Intent.--If no report is submitted or an operator
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submits a false or fraudulent report with the intent to evade
the fee, an assessment of the amount owed may be made at any
time.
§ 2806. Enforcement.
(a) Assessment.--The commission shall assess interest on a
delinquent fee at a rate determined by the commission.
(b) Penalty.--In addition to the assessed interest under
subsection (a), if an operator fails to make timely payment of
the fee, a penalty in the amount of 5% of the amount of the fee
shall be added to the amount of the fee due if failure to file a
timely payment is for not more than one month, with an
additional 5% penalty for each additional month, or fraction of
a month, during which the failure continues, not to exceed 25%
in the aggregate.
(c) Timely payment.--If the commission determines that an
operator has not made a timely payment of the fee, the
commission shall send written notice of the amount of the
deficiency to the operator within 30 days from the date of
determining the deficiency.
(d) Remedies.--The remedies provided under this chapter are
in addition to any other remedies provided by law.
(e) Lien.--
(1) Fines, fees, interest and penalties shall be
collectible as authorized by law for the collection of debts.
(2) If the operator liable to pay an amount neglects or
refuses to pay the amount after demand, the amount, together
with costs, shall be a judgment in favor of the Commonwealth
upon the property of the operator, but only after the
judgment has been entered, docketed and recorded by the
prothonotary of the county where the property is situated.
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(3) The Commonwealth shall transmit to the
prothonotaries of the respective counties certified copies of
the judgments.
(4) Each prothonotary shall enter, docket and record the
record in the prothonotary's office and index each judgment
without requiring the payment of costs as a condition
precedent to the entry of the judgment.
§ 2807. Enforcement orders.
(a) Issuance.--
(1) The commission may issue an order as necessary to
enforce this chapter.
(2) An order issued under this section shall take effect
upon notice unless the order specifies otherwise.
(3) A person aggrieved by an order under this section
may appeal to Commonwealth Court under 42 Pa.C.S. § 763
(relating to direct appeals from government agencies).
(b) Compliance.--
(1) An operator shall comply with an order issued under
subsection (a).
(2) If an operator fails to proceed diligently to comply
with an order within the time required, the operator shall be
guilty of contempt and shall be punished by the court in an
appropriate manner.
§ 2808. Administrative penalties.
(a) Civil penalties.--
(1) In addition to any other proceeding authorized by
law, the commission may assess a civil penalty not to exceed
$2,500 per violation upon an operator for a violation of this
chapter.
(2) In determining the amount of the penalty, the
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commission shall consider the willfulness of the violation
and other relevant factors.
(b) Separate offense.--Each violation for each separate day
and each violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate
offense.
(c) Limitation of actions.--Notwithstanding any limitation
under 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 55 Subch. B (relating to civil actions and
proceedings), an action under this section must be brought
within three years of the violation.
(d) Procedure.--A penalty under this chapter is subject to
66 Pa.C.S. Ch. 3 Subch. B (relating to investigations and
hearings).
§ 2809. Recordkeeping.
(a) General rule.--An operator liable for the fee under this
chapter shall keep records, make reports and comply with
regulations of the commission.
(b) Power of commission.--The commission may require an
operator to make reports, render statements or keep records as
the commission deems sufficient to determine liability for the
fee.
§ 2810. Examinations.
(a) Access.--The commission or the commission's authorized
agents or representatives shall:
(1) Have access to the relevant books, papers and
records of an operator in order to verify the accuracy and
completeness of a report filed or fee paid under this
chapter.
(2) Require the preservation of all relevant books,
papers and records for an appropriate period not to exceed
three years from the end of the calendar year to which the
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records relate.
(3) Examine any employee of an operator under oath
concerning the pipeline subject to a fee or any matter
relating to the enforcement of this chapter.
(4) Compel the production of relevant books, papers and
records and the attendance of all individuals who the
commission believes to have knowledge of relevant matters in
accordance with this title.
(b) Unauthorized disclosure.--
(1) Information obtained by the commission as a result
of a report, examination, investigation or hearing under this
chapter shall be confidential and may not be disclosed,
except for official purposes, in accordance with a judicial
order or as otherwise provided by law.
(2) A commissioner or an employee of the commission who
without authorization divulges confidential information shall
be subject to disciplinary action by the commission.
§ 2811. Distribution of fee.
(a) Establishment.--The Pipeline Emergency Response Fund is
established in the Treasury Department and shall be administered
by the commission.
(b) Deposit.--All fees imposed and collected under this
chapter shall be deposited into the fund. The money in the fund
is appropriated to the commission on a continuing basis for the
purpose specified under this section.
(c) Distribution.--Except as provided in sections 2802(d)
and (e) (relating to pipeline emergency response fee) and
2803(c) (relating to administration) from fees collected:
(1) Eighty-five percent of the revenue in the fund from
fees collected for the prior year shall be distributed to
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counties and municipalities for purposes authorized under
subsection (d)(1). The money shall be distributed under the
following formula:
(i) Sixty percent shall be distributed to counties
where pipelines are located. The amount for each county
to which money will be distributed shall be determined
using a formula that:
(A) Divides the cumulative linear feet of
pipelines located within the county by the cumulative
linear feet of pipelines contained in this
Commonwealth.
(B) Multiplies the resulting percentage by the
amount available for distribution under this
paragraph.
(ii) Forty percent shall be distributed to
municipalities where pipelines are located. The amount
for each municipality to which money will be distributed
shall be determined using a formula that:
(A) Divides the cumulative linear feet of
pipelines located within the municipality by the
cumulative linear feet of pipelines contained in this
Commonwealth.
(B) Multiplies the resulting percentage by the
amount available for distribution under this
paragraph.
(2) The balance of the revenues in the fund from fees
collected for the prior year shall be distributed to counties
and municipalities for purposes authorized under subsection
(d)(2) and that have incurred costs for the purposes
authorized under subsection (d)(2). Money remaining in the
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fund following distribution under this paragraph shall be
distributed under the formula contained in paragraph (1) on a
pro rata basis.
(d) Use of money.--A county or municipality that receives a
distribution under subsection (c) shall use the money received
only for the following purposes:
(1) Costs incurred by the county or municipality for
increasing the county's or municipality's capacity to respond
to future emergencies relating to pipelines located in the
county or municipality. The uses shall include:
(i) Emergency planning, coordination, training,
equipment acquisition, communication and implementation
for the county or municipality.
(ii) State-administered emergency response training,
planning and coordination for county or municipal
employees.
(2) Costs incurred by the county or municipality during
a response to an emergency relating to pipelines within the
county or municipality, including police and fire protection
for the county or municipality.
(e) Reporting.--
(1) The commission shall submit an annual report on all
money in the fund. The report shall include a detailed
listing of all deposits into and expenditures from the fund
and shall be submitted to the chairperson and the minority
chairperson of the Appropriations Committee of the Senate,
the chairperson and the minority chairperson of the
Environmental Resources and Energy Committee of the Senate,
the chairperson and the minority chairperson of the
Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives and
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the chairperson and the minority chairperson of the
Environmental Resources and Energy Committee of the House of
Representatives. The report shall be submitted by December
30, 2020, and by September 30 of each subsequent year.
(2) Counties and municipalities receiving a distribution
from the fund under this section shall submit information to
the commission on a form prepared by the commission that
specifies the amount and use of money received from the fund
in the prior calendar year. The form shall state if the money
received was used as authorized in this section. The reports
shall be published annually on the county's or municipality's
publicly accessible Internet website.
(f) Availability of money.--Distribution of money under this
section shall be contingent on the availability of money in the
fund. If sufficient money is not available for a distribution,
the commission shall disburse the money on a pro rata basis.
Section 2. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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