The following two already-introduced bills have been acted upon by the General Assembly since our last Update:

PA Senate Bill 875 – Treated Mine Water Act

Sponsor: Camera Bartolotta (Greene County and parts of Beaver and Washington counties [southwestern Pennsylvania])
Overview: Provides immunity from liability to mine operators for use of treated mine water used in oil or gas well development.

Provides immunity from liability for treatment or abatement of mine drainage or mine pool water to persons who acquire treated mine water for use in oil or gas development.

Does not remove liability for unlawful spills or releases.Treated mine water that meets the effluent limits of the NPDES permit for the source mine and is being used for oil or gas development shall not be considered a solid waste as defined by the Solid Waste Management Act.

Amendments: Printer’s Number 1187: Adds section stating that “[t]reated mine water and mine drainage are not residual waste or solid waste for purposes of the … Solid Waste Management Act.”
Current Status: Original bill reported (10-1) out of Senate Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy on June 22, 2015.

Original bill passed by Senate (34-15) on June 25, 2015.

Original bill reported (24-2) out of House Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy on June 29, 2015.

Printer’s Number 1187 referred to House Committee on Appropriations on July 22, 2015.


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.

Reported unanimously out of the Senate Committee on Local Government on July 14, 2015.


Senate Bill 886 – Affordable Energy Development Zones Act

Sponsor: Scott E. Hutchinson (Republican – Clarion, Forest, and Venango Counties and parts of Butler and Warren Counties [northwest Pennsylvania])
Overview: Extends tax credits or exemptions to qualified businesses within an “affordable energy development zone” (“Zone[s]”) that actively perform “a trade, profession or business involving energy or manufacturing, or a related activity that uses natural gas from an unconventional formation.

”Zones are established by the Department of Community and Economic Development within political subdivisions in which unconventional wells are located.

Qualified businesses must (1) “use natural gas from an unconventional formation,” (2) hire and employ a minimum of 10 new full-time equivalent employees within the first three years of full operation within the Zone, and (3) invest $500,000 in new capital investment on the property within the first three full years of operation.

Tax credits and/or exemptions expire after ten years.

Current Status: Referred to the Senate Committee on Community, Economic and Recreational Development on July 10, 2015.


Senate Bill 953 – Natural Gas Infrastructure Expansion and Access Act

Sponsor: Stewart J. Greenleaf (Republican – parts of Bucks and Montgomery Counties [outside Philadelphia])
Overview: Directs the Public Utilities Commission to identify and designate corridors for construction of natural gas infrastructure extension and expansion projects to unserved or underserved areas, and to publish those corridors for bidding.

Company, person, or entity awarded the bid must construct the extension or expansion project and shall have exclusive rights within the corridor as it relates to the pipeline and any potential customers that might be served by the pipeline.

Current Status: Referred to the Senate Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy on July 16, 2015.