reports the Post-Gazette.  The bill would allow state drilling regulations override local ordinances, many of which limit noise and road use of a drilling operation, or increase the minimum allowed distance between a drilling site and a school or hospital.  Plus: emergency takeover plans for Harrisburg and the beginnning of a federal hydraulic fracturing study."> reports the Post-Gazette.  The bill would allow state drilling regulations override local ordinances, many of which limit noise and road use of a drilling operation, or increase the minimum allowed distance between a drilling site and a school or hospital.  Plus: emergency takeover plans for Harrisburg and the beginnning of a federal hydraulic fracturing study."> reports the Post-Gazette.  The bill would allow state drilling regulations override local ordinances, many of which limit noise and road use of a drilling operation, or increase the minimum allowed distance between a drilling site and a school or hospital.  Plus: emergency takeover plans for Harrisburg and the beginnning of a federal hydraulic fracturing study."> Links: Locals bristle at preemption possibility, layoffs planned for Harrisburg, & federal fracking probe begins | State House Sound Bites | witf.org
State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Links: Locals bristle at preemption possibility, layoffs planned for Harrisburg, & federal fracking probe begins

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Nov 4, 2011 12:53 PM

Local government groups say the House impact fee proposal is intrusive, reports the Post-Gazette.  The bill would allow state drilling regulations override local ordinances, many of which limit noise and road use of a drilling operation, or increase the minimum allowed distance between a drilling site and a school or hospital.

 

"We have a lot of time, effort and money invested in putting together what we think are very comprehensive zoning ordinances to address the industry, and we think they work," said Richard Ward, the manager of Robinson in Washington County.

 

"Personally, I take exception and I think the township takes exception to the notion that the state thinks they can regulate better than we can in our township."


… Drillers have pushed back against the prospect of navigating potentially hundreds of unique regulations across the state, a situation they equate to requiring a new driver's license in each town.

 

Among the planned next steps for the governor’s state takeover of Harrisburg: several city employee layoffs and raising parking fines, reports the Patriot-News.  The plans also include a hiring freeze and restrictions on overtime for employees. 

 

The Environmental Protection Agency is beginning a probe to examine the effect of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on drinking water.  From the AP:

 

The research will look at where companies performing hydraulic fracturing get their water and how much they use. It will also try to pinpoint the cause of alleged water contamination — looking at above-ground spills, well design and the fracturing process itself.

 

Unrelated asteroid watch: Joel Achenbach advises you to get ready to duck on November 8, when a suspiciously round space rock is expected to juuust miss our planet.

 

The asteroid, 2005 YU55 (street name: Yu-dogg), is about a quarter of a mile across, so it’s not a planet-buster. But it’d make a nice crater if it hit the Earth’s surface. [Update: Thanks to this asteroid impact calculator from Purdue, I’ve determined that the rock, if it hit Earth, would make a crater 2.44 miles in diameter and about 3/4ths of a mile deep. But it’s possible that I made a miscalculation. I plugged in an asteroid diameter of 300 meters and assumed it was fairly dense.]

 

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