State Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Northampton) has announced that Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties will receive more than $1.4 million in Marcellus Shale impact fees collected during calendar year 2013. Checks will be distributed by July 1.
Under Act 13, impact fees are imposed on drilling companies that are extracting natural gas in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale regions. The fees fluctuate depending on the price of natural gas and the rate of inflation. The revenue is collected by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), which released the state, county and municipal totals this week.
“Even though Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties are not part of the Marcellus Shale formation, residents are still receiving a financial benefit as promised under Act 13,” said Simmons. “The funding can be used in a variety of ways that improve our quality of life, including water system upgrades and road repairs.”
The PUC announced that Lehigh County will receive $340,418.70 from the Marcellus Legacy Fund, while Montgomery and Northampton counties will receive $774,718.60 and $286,776.97, respectively. The fund derives its revenue from the 40 percent portion of collected impact fees that goes back to the state. The money distributed by the fund can be used by counties for emergency response planning, training and other activities; water, storm water, and sewer system construction and repair; infrastructure maintenance and repair; as well as statewide environmental initiatives.
The PUC collected impact fees totaling more than $225 million in 2013, bringing the three-year total since Act 13’s passage to nearly $630 million.
For more information, visit the PUC website, www.puc.state.pa.us and follow the “Act 13 (Impact Fee)” link.