The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) on Wednesday introduced an interactive website that allows users to examine information related to the collection and distribution of revenue from the state's unconventional natural gas well impact fee, which was enacted as part of Act 13, the state's omnibus Marcellus Shale law.
The website, which includes graphical data analysis including the top paying producers, well count breakdowns and top collecting counties and local governments, can be accessed on the PUC website by clicking on "Act 13 (Impact Fee)" and then "Interactive Impact Fee Website."
"In administering the impact fee, the PUC has been unwavering in our efforts to be transparent with the implementation of the law," said PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson. "This website takes that to the next level by providing an interactive, searchable resource where residents, local officials or anyone interested in the impact fee can view what money was collected and distributed as well as the calculations behind those numbers."
Act 13, which was signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett in February 2012, amended Title 58 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes and empowered the PUC to collect an impact fee on behalf of local governments (see Shale Daily, Feb. 15, 2012). The PUC finalized impact fee procedures last May (see Shale Daily, May 11, 2012).
The PUC originally published a distribution list for impact fee revenue on Oct. 15 but rescinded it later that month (see Shale Daily, Oct. 29, 2012; Oct. 16, 2012). In November the agency had to recalculate the distributions after determining that an error occurred over how it applied the five-linear-mile rule for calculating impact fee revenue (see Shale Daily, Nov. 15, 2012). In December the PUC voted to clarify several portions of Act 13 as to how it pertains to levying the unconventional natural gas drilling impact fee (see Shale Daily, Dec. 21, 2012).
Impact fee producer payments for 2012 were due to the PUC April 1. Information on the amount of money expected for 2012 as well as the amount of money collected to date can be found on the website. Payments for some wells are still being challenged by some producers; disputed wells are not reflected in the current data available.
PUC distributions of the impact fee from the prior year are due to county and municipal governments by July 1. County and municipal government information on how 2011 impact fee revenue was spent is due to the PUC by April 15.