June 24, 2011
Given your interest in environmental issues, I want to keep you updated on my efforts to enact a natural gas severance tax or fee in Pennsylvania.
Recently, my colleagues in the Senate and I announced plans to amend Senate Bill 1100 to recognize the environmental and public safety impacts that the growing network of natural gas pipelines are having on Chester County and southeast Pennsylvania.
Please see the press release below for more information. And as always, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns or comments that you may have.
State Senator - 19th District
Dinniman: Marcellus Shale Impact Fee Must Address
Environmental, Public Safety Issues in Southeast Pa.
WEST CHESTER (June 24) – State Senator Andy Dinniman recently said any division of Marcellus Shale impact fees must recognize the environmental and public safety impacts that the growing network of natural-gas pipelines are having on Chester County and southeast Pennsylvania.
At a press conference, Dinniman and his colleagues announced an omnibus amendment to Senate Bill 1100 that includes Dinniman’s two amendments that make sure Marcellus Shale revenues go not only to those communities where the wells are located but also to those crisscrossed by pipelines. If the bill and the amendment are passed, local emergency response communities, conservation districts and local governments would receive monies to be used for both public-safety and environmental purposes.
“We must recognize the Marcellus Shale is not a regional issue but a statewide one, and that goes for both its potential benefits as well as its negative impacts,” Dinniman said.
“Pennsylvania’s significant naturalgas resources will provide great wealth to those areas where the Marcellus Shale is located,” Dinniman said. “But we must remember that the natural gas only has value by getting to market, which it does by being piped to and through southeast Pennsylvania, including Chester and Montgomery counties.”
Dinniman said a recent project to replace and increase the size of a natural-gas pipeline through East Caln, Downingtown and East Whiteland in his district underlined the scope of such projects.
“A short half-a-mile section of pipeline through East Caln required clearing 760 trees and associated vegetation, which in turn exacerbated flooding concerns in neighboring Downingtown. In addition, the new pipeline greatly concerned the Downingtown Water Authority because it was proposed to cut through the banks of the Brandywine Creek a short distance upstream from where the authority takes in its water.”Dinniman said. “When you consider that natural-gas pipelines are already in or proposed for 62 or Chester County’s 73 municipalities, it’s obvious that these impacts are real and that they cannot be ignored.”
Specifically, one of Dinniman’s amendments within the omnibus amendment increases from $1 million to $2 million the share of revenues going to the State Fire Commissioner and furthermore, allows for a portion of those funds to be used for training and equipment purchases in communities that are home to natural-gas transmission lines.
The senator’s other amendment would provide 5.5 percent of impact fee revenues to county and local governments within Chester and Montgomery counties and other “pipeline communities” to address the environmental impacts of pipelines.
Dinniman also strongly supports the part of the amendment that would ensure some impact fees go toward the type of projects funded by Pennsylvania’s Environmental Stewardship Fund. Such projects include cleaning up rivers and streams, creating and improving parks and trails, and revitalizing cities and towns.