Thursday, September 3, 2015

Philly gets a sizable chunk of Marcellus Shale fee funds

Philly gets a sizable chunk of Marcellus Shale fee funds



Drilling rigs hardly line Philadelphia's cityscape. But the city is poised to receive a cool $1.3 million so far this year from the state's new impact fee on natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

Gov. Corbett released detailed numbers today about how much money every municipality and county will receive under the new law, which kicks the majority of the proceeds to drilling communities, but also sends money to all counties for conservation projects. Philadelphia ranked among the top 10 counties (out of 67) for payouts, despite its no drilling status.

In all, the state has so far brought in $204 million since the legislature passed the fee earlier this year. Sixty percent of that strictly goes to drilling communities; the remainder is doled out to counties, based on population, statewide.

Philly's share: $1.29 million. The Philadelphia suburbs also are faring well. Bucks County will get $530,461; Chester County will receive $423,255; Delaware County, $474,238; and Montgomery County will receive $678,613.

Checks will start going out as early as this week.

In parts of the state without drilling (like Philadelphia), the impact fee law requires that the money be used to build or maintain greenways, recreational trails, open space and natural areas; for conservation and beautification projects; and for water resource management projects.

In drilling communities, proceeds from the impact fee must be used for things like fixing roads and water and sewer infrastructure.

"We are serious about becoming energy leaders in this country and in the world," Corbett said.


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Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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