At its meeting Wednesday evening, the Kidder Township Environmental Advisory Council discussed a number of items that are of ongoing concern.
Council member Len Tiscio was selected to head a project to establish a natural resources inventory for the township. Under the Comprehensive Township Plan there is a requirement for such an inventory. The inventory will include items such as stone fields, historical structures, natural springs, flora and fauna and other naturally occurring items.
The council has an inventory from 1840 which will be used as a baseline. There is also a "Natural Areas Inventory" that was published in 2005 under a grant from the Heritage Foundation that will be helpful.
Tiscio will eventually seek out the assistance of volunteers for the project. Council President Frank Gilotti stated that college students are very helpful for these types of projects.
Another item on the agenda is the township's response to Act 13.
Under Act 13, signed into law Feb. 14, 2012, the state has provided for the imposition of an unconventional gas well fee (known as a drilling impact fee). Carbon County falls within the group of counties potentially affected by unconventional gas well drilling. The law in part states that "all local ordinances must allow for reasonable development of oil and gas resources."
Under the act, municipalities may opt to pass a local ordinance in accordance with Act 13 if the county does not. Kidder Township has such an ordinance; however, the local ordinances provisions of Act 13 are currently subject to proceedings before state courts.
The EAC will wait for the court proceeding to conclude before making any changes to the existing ordinance to bring it into compliance with Act 13.