The measure's approval puts it among just a handful of bills related to Marcellus Shale drilling activity that have cleared the legislative process this session.
The PUC is hiring seven new inspectors, whose salaries were advertised between $51,000 and $66,000. Their placement throughout the state will be determined once officials have analyzed which areas have the most gathering lines. These gathering lines are not registered anywhere at this point in time. The state does not know with any certainty how many miles of pipeline there are.
The state will receive some federal funding for the program, estimated to cost $1.4 million in the coming year. Operators also will be charged an assessment based on their pipeline mileage. (Pittsburg Post-Gazette, 1/19/2012)