Governor Corbett announces plans to allow impact fees for gas wells and other changes
“Estimates show that this impact fee will bring in about $120 million in the first year, climbing to nearly $200 million within six years,” Corbett said. “As the number of wells grows, so will the revenue. Almost all of the money it brings in will go to benefit the places experiencing the impact.”
Each well will be subject to a fee of up to $40,000 in the first year, $30,000 in the second year, $20,000 in the third year and $10,000 in the fourth through tenth years, adding up to a potential total of $160,000 per well.
Under this proposal, a county may provide for a fee credit of up to 30 percent if the driller makes approved investments in natural gas infrastructure, which include setting up natural gas fueling stations or natural gas public transit vehicles.
The impact fee revenues will be split with 75 percent being retained at the local level, with 36 percent of that number retained by the county, 37 percent distributed to municipalities that host the drilling pads and 27 percent distributed to all the municipalities within a Marcellus drilling impacted county. The distribution formula
will be based on population and highway miles.
The remaining 25 percent of the fee would be divided, with 70 percent of that number going to PennDOT for road, bridge, rail and other transportation infrastructure maintenance and repair within counties hosting Marcellus natural gas development, 4.5 percent to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency for
emergency response planning and training, and 3.75 percent to the Office of State Fire Commissioner for training programs for first responders and for specialized equipment necessary for emergency response.
In addition, 3.75 percent will go to the Department of Health for collecting and disseminating information, and for health care and citizen provider outreach and education, and for investigating health complaints and other activities associated
with shale development, 7.5 percent to the Public Utility
Commission to enhance pipeline safety and increase inspections, and 10.5 percent to a restricted account at
the Department of Environmental Protection to be used for plugging abandoned and unused gas wells, plus other natural gas related regulation and enforcement.
Corbett said that under this plan, counties and municipalities may use these funds on various expenses related to impacts from natural gas development, including:
• Construction, repair and maintenance of roads, bridges and other public infrastructure;
• Water, storm water and sewer system construction and repair;