In an announcement made Monday, we learned of Governor Corbett’s plan to implement the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission’s recommendations. These included some important, common-sense regulatory changes like mandatory set-backs from drinking water sources.
However, the plan’s most anxiously awaited component, the impact fee, contained glaring omissions. Most notably, it lacked funding to offset direct and indirect impacts to public lands and waters by funding Pennsylvania’s highly successful Growing Greener program, which has recently gone bankrupt.
The forests and streams of Pennsylvania bring in billions of dollars annually from recreational activities like fishing, hiking, and boating. They also provide hard-working families the opportunity to relax, explore, and connect with nature. So where is the funding to protect these public lands? Mitigating damages to these special areas is necessary, and the impact fee money from this plan should be used to fund land and water conservation efforts statewide.
Although Corbett says that the new recommendations represent a “sensible and fair plan,” a truly responsible plan should include funding to protect the resources we all depend on and enjoy.
Labels: landcons, watercons