Pa. Lawmakers OK Drilling Delay In SE Pa. Basin
HARRSBURG, Pa. (AP) – The state House and Senate have approved a bill that would slap a moratorium on drilling into the untapped SouthNewarkBasin natural gas reservoir below portions of southeastern Pennsylvania .
The provision approved Saturday was in a key piece ofbudget-relatedlegislation, andwas expectedto getGov. Tom Corbett's signature.
The United States Geological Survey estimates the SouthNewarkBasin has 876 billion cubic feet of gas. That's a fraction of the 141 trillion cubic feet thought to be intheMarcellusShale formation belowmuch ofPennsylvania.
The provision would bar state regulators from issuing drilling permits in the basin until a state agency evaluates the impact of drilling there and the host counties are legally allowed to impose a drilling fee. The moratorium would last until 2018.