Sen. Scarnati Introduces Marcellus Shale Impact Fee Langauge
Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-Jefferson) this week introduced the language for a local impact fee on Marcellus Shale companies as Senate Bill 1100 which he said will raise $121.2 million in FY 2011-12.
"While I recognize that even though the language has been put into legislative form, this issue is still a work in progress," Sen. Scarnati stated. "My main objective with this bill is to ensure our local municipalities, where drilling takes place, receive a fee to assist with road improvements, water and sewage issues, as well as other community enhancements."
According to Sen. Scarnati, there has been significant progress made over the past couple of weeks to improve the proposal.
"We have and will continue to work with the environmental community, the industry, and local and state officials to make sure we get this bill right," Sen. Scarnati added. "I am hopeful that we will arrive at a final product that will be in the best interest of the citizens of the Commonwealth by summer recess.
"As I have said before, we have tremendous opportunity with the Marcellus Shale industry, but we must be vigilant in ensuring our communities and our environment are taken care of now and in the future," Scarnati concluded.
The proposal is retroactive to 2010 and would bring in about $45 million for last year and $76.2 million this year for a combined income of $121.2 million in FY 2011-12.
The revenue would be distributed to county conservation districts, impacted local governments and for statewide environmental and infrastructure impacts in these amounts--
-- Conservation Districts: 2010-- $2.5 million, 2011-- $5 million and thereafter $7.5 million annually.
-- Impacted Local Governments: 60 percent of the revenue or about $42.7 million in 2011--
-- 36 percent to counties with producing wells;
-- 37 percent to municipalities with producing wells;
-- 27 percent to all municipalities within counties with producing wells;
The local impact fee revenue may be used for the following purposes: reconstruction, maintenance and repair of municipal roadways and bridges; preservation and improvement of municipal water supplies; maintenance and capital improvements to municipal waste and sewage systems; preservation and reclamation of the surface waters of the municipality; other lawful purposes reasonably related to the health, welfare and safety consequences of severing natural gas in the municipality.
-- Statewide Environmental and Infrastructure Impacts: 40 percent or about $38.2 million in 2011--
-- 80 percent ($30.8 million in 2011) would go through the Commonwealth Financing Authority for: Acid mine drainage abatement and cleanup; watershed protection; planning and enforcement authorized under the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act; water and sewer infrastructure; greenways, recreational trails, open space, natural areas, heritage parks, etc.; flood control and dam safety projects.
-- 10 percent to the Motor License Fund for impacted state highway improvements.
-- 10 percent to the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund.
A copy of the bill and supporting summary and other background are available on a special Marcellus Shale Impact Fee webpage on Sen. Scarnati's website. Click Here for original announcement and reaction.
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