PA PUC Adopts Guidelines for Impact Fee Collection/Disbursement

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) yesterday finalized provisions of Act 13 of 2012 related to the collection and disbursement of the impact fee for unconventional natural gas well drilling. Known as Chapter 23 of Act 13, the PUC voted 5-0 to finalize the procedures they would use to implement, collect and distribute the impact fee. A copy of the “Chapter 23 Final Implementation Order” as adopted is embedded below.

Because of an active lawsuit by seven townships and others against zoning provisions in Act 13 (known as Chapter 33 of Act 13), the PUC delayed action on that section of the new law.

The Chapter 23 Final Implementation Order adopted yesterday contains information on:

  • Chapter 23 Implementation plans;
  • Producer report;
  • Municipal budget report; and
  • Impact fee disbursement report.

On Feb. 14, 2012, Governor 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, including links to report forms that will need to be completed by both drillers and municipalities: