Millions Provided to PA Counties, Municipalities Since 2012
HARRISBURG – Highlighting one of the most significant pieces of state legislation ever passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, two Senate committees will hear testimonials Tuesday from counties, townships, conservation districts and economic development organizations throughout the state who are currently benefiting from the natural gas drilling impact fee, according to Senators Gene Yaw (R-23) and Scott Hutchinson (R-21).
Yaw, who chairs the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and Hutchinson, who chairs the Senate Local Committee, will combine their resources and listen to testimony from the people directly benefiting from the opportunities created through the Act 13 ‘Impact Fee’ law.
The joint hearing, set for Tuesday, March 3rd in Hearing Room 1 of the North Office Building, will begin at 8:30AM.
Signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett in 2012, Act 13 provided for the imposition of an unconventional gas well fee with funds distributed directly to local, county and state governments. In addition, Act 13 updated the environmental safeguards on natural gas extraction in the Oil and Gas Act for the first time since 1984.
Since 2012, natural gas companies operating in Pennsylvania will have paid over $630 million in impact fees to the Pennsylvania Utility Commission.
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) emphasized the extensive work that went into establishing the impact fee.
“The passage of the Marcellus Shale impact fee in 2012 was a major achievement for Pennsylvania residents,” Scarnati stated. “This important legislation was the culmination of three years of work by the Legislature in crafting a comprehensive Marcellus Shale legislative package. I look forward to listening to Tuesday’s testimony, and hearing how Act 13 is generating significant funding to protect our environment, promote public safety and enhance our infrastructure. ”
“In my Senate district alone, the Impact Fee has generated over $120 million since 2013,” Yaw said. “No other law in history has returned so much to rural Pennsylvania. This hearing will provide an opportunity to listen and learn more about what other statewide local and county governments are doing to leverage their impact fee funding.”
“The advantage of the Impact Fee is that the funds are driven directly back to affected communities instead of becoming mired in the Harrisburg bureaucracy like so many other taxes,” said Senator Hutchinson. “I have seen its benefits on municipalities throughout my senate district, providing an important source of revenue to local governments that improves services for their residents.”
“The impact fee ensures communities, such as the ones I represent, are adequately compensated for the local impact of natural gas drilling,” said Senator Camera Bartolotta, Vice-Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. “The countless local officials I’ve spoken with have told me about the enormously positive impact the fee has had on our communities, and I look forward to hearing the perspective of others outside my district at the hearing tomorrow.”
The joint committee hearing will be broadcast LIVE on www.pasenategop.com.
Adam Pankake, Executive Director
Environmental Resources & Energy Committee
Justin Leventry, Executive Director
Local Government Committee