The following bills were introduced in the Pennsylvania General Assembly:

PA Senate Bill 415 – Natural Gas Severance Tax
Sponsor: Arthur L. Haywood III (Democrat – Philadelphia and part of Montgomery County)
Overview: Extensive severance tax bill, with rate of “8% of the gross value of units severed at the wellhead during a reporting period.”Repeals sunset provision of Oil & Gas Act that would have terminated the impact fee upon passage of a severance tax, allowing imposition of both an impact fee and severance tax.
Current Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy on April 6, 2015.
PA House Bill 855 – Amendments to Gas & Hazardous Liquids Pipelines Act
Sponsor: Robert W. Godshall (Republican – Part of Montgomery County [outside Philadelphia])
Overview: Transfers authority over pipeline safety inspections from Public Utility Commission to Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”).

Specifies civil penalty of up to $1,000 per day for violations of Act by pipeline operator.

Directs DEP to submit a certification to United States Department of Transportation (“USDOT”) to authorize the DEP to enforce federal pipeline safety laws regarding intrastate pipelines within Pennsylvania.

Directs DEP to make an agreement with USDOT to authorize DEP to enforce federal pipeline safety laws regarding interstate pipelines within Pennsylvania.Current Status:Referred to House Committee on Consumer Affairs on April 14, 2015.

The following already-introduced bill was acted upon by the Pennsylvania General Assembly:

PA House Bill 33 – Amendments to Municipalities Planning Code
Sponsor: Glenn Grell (Republican – part of Cumberland County [outside Harrisburg])
Overview: Amends Municipalities Planning Code (“MPC”) to allow governing body to appoint up to three residents of the municipality to serve as alternate members of the Planning Commission.

Alternate members of Planning Commission appointed pursuant to this bill may participate fully in event of absence or recusal of any absent member.Current Status:Approved unanimously by the House Appropriations Committee on March 30, 2015.

Passed unanimously by the House of Representatives on March 30, 2015.

Referred to Senate Committee on Local Government on April 8, 2015.