Oct. 27, 2011
HARRISBURG - A key Senate committee approved environmental protections for Marcellus Shale drilling Wednesday while negotiations continue in the chamber over an impact fee on drilling and restrictions on local zoning ordinances for drilling activities.
The Appropriations Committee voted unanimously for what senators labeled a comprehensive amendment addressing such varied issues as natural gas well setbacks from water sources and response procedures in case of emergencies.
Several of the amendment's provisions mirror or even exceed recommendations offered by Gov. Tom Corbett's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, while others would put into law regulations that were adopted last year by the Rendell administration, said Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati, R-25, Jefferson County.
The Senate plans to consider more amendments to the measure next week and then vote on an entire bill that includes an impact fee before a break for an Election Day recess, said Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-9, Chester.
The approved environmental amendment would...