New Permit Applications Down 30% in PA, DEP Scrambles for Funding

Starting in 2014, the price to file an application for a permit to drill a Marcellus or Utica Shale well in Pennsylvania went from $3,200 to $5,000 (see Coming Soon: PA Drillers to Pay 56% More for Marcellus Permits). In early 2014, then head of the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection, Chris Abruzzo, said the fee hike and forecasted new revenue from it would allow the DEP to hire more help (see New Staffers on Way at PA DEP O&G Courtesy Higher Permit Fees). But a funny thing happened on the way to the Forum–the price of natural gas dropped like a rock because of too much supply and, in the northeast, not enough pipelines. Year over year the number of applications for permits to drill new wells is down about 30% according to the DEP, and that means the previously forecasted revenue isn’t there. What will the DEP do now?…

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