Pa. House debates bill to require compensation if DRBC bans fracking

Tony Romeo
May 15, 2019 - 4:00 am
Pennsylvania Capitol Building in Harrisburg.

Bodhichita/Getty Images

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — The state House Tuesday began debate on legislation that would require the Delaware River Basin Commission to compensate landowners for economic losses stemming from a possible ban on natural gas fracking.

The bill being considered by the state House would mandate that landowners unable to benefit from natural gas drilling due to a current moratorium that could become a permanent ban be compensated as they would in an eminent domain action. 

The sponsor of the bill is northeastern Pennsylvania Republican Jonathan Fritz. 

“If the Delaware River Basin Commission is going to prevent a landowner from using his or her property, they must pay for that taking," Fritz said. 

Delaware and Montgomery counties Democrat Greg Vitali argues that the bill is unconstitutional. 

“The state of Pennsylvania unilaterally is attempting to interfere with a multi-state and federal compact," he said. 

The House Tuesday adjourned for the day without taking a vote on the bill.