PUC Details $234 Million Distribution of Gas Drilling Impact Fees

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today posted detailed information about this year’s distribution of impact fees on natural gas producers – totaling $234,437,575 – on the PUC’s Act 13 website.

County and municipal governments directly affected by drilling will receive a total of $123,217,163 for the 2021 reporting year. Additionally, $86,030,934 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, $25,189,477 will be distributed to state agencies, as specified by Act 13.

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

This year’s distribution is near $100 million higher than last year, driven primarily by the average price of natural gas in 2021 ($3.84 per MMBtu) versus the average price in 2020 ($2.08 per MMBtu) which generated a higher impact fee payment for each well in 2021 – along with the addition of 518 new wells during 2021.

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.