The Pennsylvania General Assembly on Thursday voted, 107-76, to pass a bill that would regulate Marcellus Shale drilling as well as enact a 1-percent impact fee.
House Bill 1950 would restrict the ability of local officials to govern drilling in their own municipalities and establishes setbacks, but it does not include specific protections for schools or other areas like parks.
Under the terms of the bill, Marcellus Shale drilling would be a permitted use in all zoning districts. Compressor sites would be permitted in most zones, with a 750-foot setback requirement.
Baldwin-Whitehall representatives Harry A. Readshaw (Baldwin Borough/Whitehall Borough) and William C. Kortz II (Baldwin Borough) both voted "no," while fellow B-W rep Chelsa Wagner (Baldwin Township/Whitehall Borough) was excused/on leave and did not vote.
The bill is now awaiting action in the state Senate.
This article originally appeared on the Canon-McMillan Patch.