HARRISBURG, Pa., May 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Tom Corbett today signed into law the following legislation:
Senate Bill 916: the bill amends the Pennsylvania Election Code to apply the standards adopted by the Voting Standards Development Board and published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on August 2, 2003, to any primary, municipal, special, and general election in 2011 and 2012.
Senate Bill 265: the bill amends the Coal and Gas Resource Coordination Act to:
- Require all gas well permit applications that call for the penetration of an operating coal mine to be accompanied by the written consent of the operator of the coal mine.
- Create adequate and safe spacing between gas well clusters that penetrate workable coal seams. No permit for a gas well would be issued unless the gas well cluster is located at least 2,000 feet from the nearest well cluster, unless the permit applicant and the owner of the workable coal seam consent in writing. The bill defines "well cluster" as the area within a well pad intended to hold multiple horizontal wells that comprises an area no greater than 5,000 square feet. The bill also provides for a dispute resolution process if the permit applicant and coal owner fail to agree.
- Mandate well operators to supply a well bore deviation survey to coal owners within 60 days of completion of drilling operations.
- Require the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to commission an independent study to conduct a comprehensive evaluation and update to the Joint Coal and Gas Committee Gas Well Pillar Study, initially commissioned in 1956. The Environmental Quality Board may promulgate regulations allowing for modifications to the maximum square footage of a "well cluster" based on the findings of this study.
- Revise the definition of several terms, including "workable coal seam," "active coal mine" and "operating coal mine."
To read the full text of the bills signed into law today, visit the General Assembly's website at www.legis.state.pa.us.
Media contact: Kevin Harley, 717-783-1116
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor