HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has published to its Web site the disbursements to county and municipal governments under Act 13/Impact Fee.
“The more than $202.4 million collected this year brings the two-year total for Impact Fees collected to more than $406.6 million,” said PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson. “The PUC is entrusted by the Governor and the legislature with the collection and distribution of the Impact Fee monies. Again, we have met all of the deadlines in the legislation, which contains a complex and specific formula for getting this money into the hands of local communities.”
The Impact Fee producer payments for 2012 totaled $202,472,000. Of that $102,683,200 will be distributed directly to county and municipal governments who are directly affected by drilling. Also, $28 million will be distributed to state agencies impacted by drilling. The remaining $71,788,800 will be placed into the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which was established under the law to fund environmental, highway, water and sewer projects, rehabilitation of greenways and other projects throughout the state.
The PUC has forwarded the information for payment and expects the checks to be mailed June 28.
A breakdown of the payments to county and municipal governments, specifics on how much money was collected and comparisons to 2011 data is available on the Act 13/Impact Fee webpage. Click the link for the interactive Web site and then click reports to see the information. The Web site includes graphical data analyses including the top paying producers, well count breakdowns and top receiving counties and local governments.
Users also can search and download statistics such as money paid by producers or money dispersed to state, county or local governments. The information also breaks down the distribution calculations outlined in the law in areas such as eligible wells per county/ municipality; and distributions to municipalities and counties with qualifying wells; and to municipalities that are located within a county with qualifying wells and are contiguous to a municipality with wells or within five miles of a municipality with wells (based on population and highway miles calculations).
Producer Impact Fee payments are due to the PUC on April 1 of each year. Distributions of the money collected by the PUC are due to county and municipal governments by July 1 each year. County and municipal government information on how the 2012 Impact Fee monies were spent is due to the PUC by April 15, 2014.
On Feb. 14, 2012, Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law Act 13 of 2012, the Unconventional Gas Well Impact Fee Act, which amended Title 58 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. The PUC is responsible for implementing the provisions contained in Chapters 23 and 33 of the Act. Chapter 23 provides for the imposition, collection and distribution of an unconventional gas well fee (also called a drilling impact fee). Chapter 33 governs local ordinances that impose conditions, requirements or limitations on oil or gas operations. The PUC has created a page on its website for Act 13 information.
The PUC balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.