Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) released data related to their collection of impact fees from energy producers in the state. County and local governments as well as state agencies are set to receive over $200 million in total, about $127 million of that by early July. This is yet another demonstration of how the energy industry benefits all Pennsylvania communities.
The Marcellus Shale is filled with natural resources and investment in energy infrastructure has enabled the state to become the second largest producer of natural gas in the country. Act 13 was signed into law in 2012 and enabled the imposition of an unconventional gas well fee or impact fee to then be distributed to local and state governments. The fee is paid annually by natural gas producers for each well they spud, or start to drill, each calendar year.
This law provides municipalities with additional funding to put back into their communities. For example, Derry Township in Dauphin County will use some of their $232,000 to build a retention pond and additional roadwork while Sewickley Township in Westmoreland County plans to use their funds from the fee to help pay for road salt, anti-skid materials and road repair from the winter months. The Marcellus Legacy Fund will also receive about $72 million to pay for other environmental, highway, water and sewer projects, and rehabbing of greenways.
Energy infrastructure will help grow Pennsylvania’s energy industry and transporting more energy resources will lead to recovering natural gas prices, increased impact fees and therefore more funds for municipalities to address their local needs.