Yesterday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett unveiled his plans to implement many of the 96 recommendations made by his Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission (see this MDN story for the original list of recommendations). The list is impressive, tightening many loopholes and hiking fees and fines. The governor’s press release outlining all of his proposed plans is embedded below.
All eyes were on a potential “impact fee” to help local municipalities cover costs of road repairs, increased costs for emergency services and other costs that come with an increase in population. Corbett announced he is in favor of an impact fee assessed by the county where the well is drilled. 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. The way that revenue is split is lengthy and complicated, but essentially 3/4 of the money stays at the local level.
About one-third of the recommendations by the Advisory Commission will require legislative action. The rest are policy-oriented and can be implemented by state agencies as directed by the governor’s office.