I'm not saying that what they did was against the letter of the law (apparently, what Commissioner Eckstein wanted to do was); what I'm saying is that we have, right here in Butler County, an undeniable impact and the Commissioners' actions violate the spirit of the law. There has been enough evidence presented, including the DEP's own data, to state that folks in the Woodlands have experienced a loss of drinking water due to drilling in the area.
What all three Commissioners decided to do was turn their backs on local residents and reputable data to cover for their own willful ignorance and financial mismanagement. This is not surprising; they have done it before.
That impact fees are, first and foremost, to be spent on impacts from drilling is obvious in the language of the law, regulatory interpretation, and a plain English reading. What has come to pass is local governments (and I'm saying any local government that gets impact fees) have decided that there are no impacts. This sort of contorted cogitation is akin to the magical thinking that allows little children to believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and unicorns. It's cute in little kids but ugly and dangerous in civic leaders.
I wonder, do the Commissioners leave milk and cookies for the Impact Imp?