Pennsylvania Senate Bill 748 was signed into law as Act 55 on October 30, 2015, by Governor Tom Wolf.  In the House of Representatives, two new bills were introduced.

PA Senate Bill 748 – Certified Escort Vehicles for “Super Loads”

Sponsor: David G. Argall (Republican – Schuylkill County and part of Berks County [outside Reading])
Overview: Eliminates mandatory escort of “super load” by Pennsylvania State Police.

Directs Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”) to establish criteria for certified escort vehicles and certification and licensing of drivers of same.Allows for permitting of movement of “super load” escorted by one certified escort vehicle, in addition to all other pilot car requirements.

PennDOT, in consultation with Pennsylvania State Police, may determine that a Pennsylvania State Police escort is necessary.

Defines “super load” as “a vehicle or combination or load having a gross weight exceeding 201,000 pounds, a total length exceeding 160 feet or a total width exceeding 16 feet.”

Specifically excludes from the definition of “super load” the following: (1) a building under 67 Pa. Code §179.11 (relating to special vehicle-load restrictions); (2) a vehicle or combination moved across the highway under 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. §4965 (relating to single permits for multiple highway crossings) or 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. §4966 (relating to permit for movement of quarry equipment); and (3) a drag line moved across a highway under permit.

Amendments: Printer’s Number 1186:

Added provisions related to permits for transportation of sugar.Printer’s Number 1264:

Added provisions related to permits for transportation of rock salt.

Printer’s Number 1313:

Removed amendments to bill related to sugar and rock salt, resulting in a bill that is identical to that originally introduced.

Current Status: Original bill (Printer’s Number 0790) passed unanimously by Senate on June 28, 2015.

Printer’s Number 1186 reported unanimously out of House Committee on Transportation on July 22, 2015.

Printer’s Number 1264 reported unanimously out of House Committee on Appropriations on September 24, 2015.

Printer’s Number 1264 passed by House of Representatives (187 to 6) on September 29, 2015.

Printer’s Number 1313 reported out of Senate Committee on Rules and Executive Nominations on October 13, 2015.

Printer’s Number 1313 passed unanimously by Senate on October 14, 2015.

Printer’s Number 1313 passed by House of Representatives (194 to 3) on October 20, 2015.

Printer’s Number 1313 signed by Governor Tom Wolf on October 30, 2015 as Act 55.

 

PA House Bill 1666 – Pennsylvania Permit Tracking & Notification Law

Sponsor: David H. Zimmerman (Republican – part of Lancaster County [southeast Pennsylvania])
Overview: Directs Department of Environmental Protection (“Department”) to maintain a secure system on the Department’s public website to allow permit applicants to track the status of applications.

Information available on secure website must include: (i) processing time provided for each permit; (ii) dates associated with receipt, completeness review, technical review, elevated review process (if necessary), and final permit decision; (iii) estimate of time remaining for each incomplete phase of approval process; and (iv) identification of application manager and contact information for department staff.

Department must provide electronic notification to permit holders sixty (60) days before permit’s expiration date, as well as where there are changes in (i) statutes or regulations that impact the permit; and (ii) permit fees that affect renewal of a permit.

Current Status: Referred to the House Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy on October 26, 2015.

 

PA House Bill 1674 – Amendments to Oil & Gas Act

Sponsor: Curtis G. Sonney (Republican – part of Erie County [northwest Pennsylvania])
Overview: Exempts from annual reporting requirements of Oil & Gas Act owners/operators of conventional gas wells used to supply natural gas to residential dwellings and which were drilled prior to effective date of this bill.

Allows owners/operators of conventional residential gas wells drilled after effective date of this bill to submit annual reports electronically or by United States mail, at the discretion of the well owner.

Current Status: Referred to the House Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy on October 29, 2015.