PUC announces almost $279M in gas producer impact fees to be disbursed to PA Counties

20 June 2023- The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today posted detailed information about this year’s distribution of impact fees on natural gas producers – totaling $278,881,450 – on the PUC’s Act 13 website.

County and municipal governments directly affected by drilling will receive a total of $157,349,593 for the 2022 reporting year. Additionally, $103,641,907 will be transferred to the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which provides financial support for environmental, highway, water and sewer projects, rehabilitation of greenways and other projects throughout the state. Also, $17,889,950 will be distributed to state agencies, as specified by Act 13.

The PUC has forwarded the information to the Department of Treasury and expects payments to be distributed in early July.

This year’s distribution is over $44 million higher than last year, driven primarily by the average price of natural gas in 2022 ($6.64 per MMBtu) versus the average price in 2021 ($3.84 per MMBtu) which generated a higher impact fee payment for each well in 2022 – along with the addition of 574 new wells during 2022.

The distributions for individual municipalities are detailed on the PUC’s Act 13 website.

Extensive details regarding the impact fee distribution are available online, including specifics on funds collected and distributed for each year since 2011. Visitors can search and download statistics such as distributions to individual municipalities or counties; allocation and usage of those funds, based on reports submitted by various municipalities; eligible wells per county/municipality; and payments by producers.

The PUC is responsible for implementing the collection and distribution of an unconventional gas well fee (also called an Impact Fee), established by the Unconventional Gas Well Impact Fee Act and signed into law as Act 13 of 2012.

Franklin County is set to get $186,563.98 of that $278M based off a gas milage of 1,038.24 and a population of 156,289. All of that money goes to “Rehabilitation of Greenways, etc.” according to the PUC. Washington County and Susquehanna Counties received the first and second most, respectively, distribution due to their extensive drilling operations. Washington came in just over $9M and $8.96 was allocated to Susquehanna County. The full county by county breakdown can be found linked here.