PA Seeks Comments on Boosting Shale Permit Fees 250%

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), the agency charged with overseeing oil and gas drilling in the state, “blindsided” the shale industry in February with a proposal to hike the fee required when submitting an application to drill a new shale well (see PA DEP Plans to Raise Marcellus Well Permit Fee by 250%). The current fee is $5,000. The proposed new fee is $12,500–or 2.5 times (250%) higher. We get it…the DEP has fewer people working there than it once did and needs to hire more help. However, the DEP wants to slap this insanely high fee on shale drillers to (in part) cover the expenses associated with non-shale activities! The shale permit fees will, “fund the broad scope of the [DEP] office’s operations, including its oversight of traditional [i.e. conventional] oil and gas wells, gas storage wells, abandoned wells and earthmoving activities.” How is it, in any sense, fair to hike the fees of shale drillers so DEP agents can better keep an eye on non-shale wells? The DEP plans to steamroller this increase through (see PA DEP Hellbent to Ram Through 250% Hike in Shale Permit Fee). The DEP’s own Environmental Quality Board has already approved the increase. The next step is to publish a notice about the increase in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, which happened on Saturday. Publication triggered a 30-day public comment period. It’s now time for you to make your voice heard…

Please Login to view this content. (Not a member? Join Today!)
You do not have permission to view the comments.

Please Login to post a comment