Boback Supports Legislation to Allow Counties to Levy Drilling Impact Fees
HARRISBURG – Rep. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming) joined the majority of her colleagues in the Pennsylvania House and Senate today when she consented to the conference committee report on House Bill 1950, which would allow counties to levy an impact fee on unconventional gas wells. Boback released this statement regarding her vote:

“The people spoke out on this legislation, and I listened. I have received countless communications from municipalities and citizens who want to see this industry held responsible for its impact, while also protecting the integrity of local government ordinances. The conference committee was able to strike an acceptable balance in this compromise legislation.

“For the past five years, Pennsylvania has been unable to move forward on the issue of a natural gas drilling impact fee or strengthened environmental protections regarding the industry. This legislation breaks the gridlock and moves us toward a resolution. While not perfect, it is a start, particularly for the protections it offers for our natural resources. It is certainly an improvement over the status quo, and it is a step toward improving the Oil and Gas Act.

“The backing of organizations like the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, the Renew Growing Greener Coalition and the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts demonstrates to me that this legislation sufficiently settles the questions of local pre-emption and environmental protection, which are instrumental to my support of the measure. The conferees listened to those of us who would not tolerate infringing upon local zoning rights, and this final compromise preserves local government authority granted by the Municipal Planning Code and the Flood Plain Management Act.

“It is vital that this industry pay for its fair share of the impact, which drilling activities may have on our water, air, soil, roads and other infrastructure. This legislation assures that drillers would be held accountable. It also provides funding for important environmental programs, such as the Environmental Stewardship Fund and the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund. Finally, the legislation will allow us to address revitalization of some of our waterways badly damaged by the storms in August and September and Pennsylvania’s aging roads and bridges.”

House Bill 1950 will now be presented to Gov. Tom Corbett for his signature.

More information about Boback and her legislative priorities is available at or

State Representative Karen Boback
117th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Nicole Wamsley