The Ridgway Township Supervisors discussed the significance of Governor Tom Corbett's signing of Act 13 of 2012 into law Feb. 14 allowing for a local impact fee on natural gas wells.
According to chairman John Gardner, the county has until April 14 to enact an ordinance to levy the impact fee.
If a county chooses not to enact an ordinance, they will have until June 13 to vote to impose the fee.
According to the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors [PSATS] NewsBulletin, Act 13 benefits municipalities in the Marcellus Shale Region by:
*empowering communities to participate in the well permit application process by commenting on local conditions or circumstances that the state Department of Environmental Protection should consider when rendering its decisions;
*requiring drillers to provide a 24-hour notice to the municipality before drilling begins;
*increasing the mandatory setbacks of natural gas wells from 200 feet to 500 feet from occupied structures and waters wells and 1,000 feet from public drinking water sources;
*increasing the mandatory setback of a natural gas well from 100 feet to 300 feet from a spring or other body of water and prohibiting natural gas wells within 300 feet of any wetland that is at least one acre; and
*increasing the distance and duration of the rebuttable presumption for contamination of public and private water supplies from 1,000 feet for six months to 2,500 feet for 12 months.
Supervisor Rick Glover suggested involving the township solicitor in the matter.
"I was at the county commissioners meeting this morning [Tuesday] to voice my opinion on it and I just want to let you [supervisors] know where I stand on this," Glover said. "I told them, bottom line, the 500 feet to a person's home was unacceptable in my mind and I'm not going to vote for any impact fee or any ordinance because of that."
Pick up a copy of the Thursday, March 22, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.
Ridgway Township Supervisors
Tuesday, April 17