Trucks operated by Marcellus Shale drilling companies are being regulated to offset the cost of damage to local roads. PennDOT is placing weight limits on state roads frequently used by drilling companies, and those who continue using the roads are forced to apply for permits and bonds through PennDOT. Rich Kirkpatrick, spokesman for PennDOT, says the regulation will make the gas companies pay for the costs of damage to the roads rather than local taxpayers.
Drilling companies using the roads have to apply for a permit that will include an excess maintenance agreement, which makes them responsible for repairing the roads. They will also have to apply for a bond which will act as insurance to PennDOT if the company were to go out of business.
Kirkpatrick, also says that some local commercial drivers are having troubles with the regulations because there is currently no rule separating them from drilling company vehicles. "With all of the local roads being posted its been somewhat of a hardship for them. Some of them have been complaining, there have been some news reports about it. We have been working on changing our regulations to accommodate those local delivery situations."
He says that new permits for local drivers will be available in 30 days but if drivers have any trouble now they can go to their local PennDOT office and work out an arrangement.