BY ROBERT SWIFT (HARRISBURG BUREAU CHIEF)
Published: May 26, 2010
HARRISBURG — Increased crime and damaged roads are two negative impacts of the Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling boom, Rendell administration officials said as the push for a state severance tax heats up.
State Police Commissioner Frank Pawlowski said state troopers are reporting more arrests and incidents involving drug use, assaults and illegal weapons in northern tier municipalities due to an influx of outside gas industry workers.
Hundreds of miles of secondary roads have been damaged or made impassable because of heavy truck traffic tied to drilling activities, PennDOT Secretary Allen Biehler said.
The two officials issued a joint statement Monday as state lawmakers debate levying a severance tax on natural gas production. The House Appropriations Committee approved a revenue bill Monday that includes an 8 percent severance tax. Revenues would be split on an 80⁄20 percent basis between the state General Fund and local municipalities. More.