Marcellus Shale fees coming to local counties

Blair and its surrounding counties and their municipalities will share more than $2.2 million in Marcellus Shale fees with nearly 60 percent heading to Clearfield County, according to the state Public Utility Commission website.

Statewide the PUC is disbursing $210 million in impact fees collected from gas producers on unconventional wells that use horizonal drilling and fracking to access gas deposits in the Marcellus Shale layer.

County and municipal governments directly affected by drilling will receive $114,784,380. A total of $76,522,900 will go 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, the PUC said in a release. Also, $18.25 million will go to state agencies, as specified by Act 13.

Clearfield County is the big winner locally. The county itself is

in line for $512,566, based on population and having 95 unconventional wells.

Clearfield County municipalities are to receive $783,621, with Lawrence Township getting the lion’s share with nearly $367,000.

That’s more than 10 times higher than Sandy Township, the second highest recipient, at $33,181.

Blair County, with six unconventional wells, is in line for $138,853, while its municipalities will share another $49,492, with Juniata Township in line for $29,263. Others will get between the $7.63 going to Tunnel Hil Borough and the nearly $3,200 heading for Altoona.

Cambria County has one unconventional well, and the county government is in line for $124,632. Its municipalities will share $8,248, with Reade Township getting $4,869. The others will receive amounts ranging from to $1.49 to $304.

Centre County, with 27 unconventional wells, will get $269,076, and its municipalities will share $222,713, with Snow Shoe and Burnside townships each in line for more than $50,000.

Huntingdon County with one well is slated for $45,282 with its municipalities getting $8,248.

While Bedford County has no unconventional wells, county government will receive $43,038 based on its population. No municipalities in Bedford County are to receive impact fee money.

Washington County is the top county in impact fee revenue at $7.2 million with Susquehanna County second at $5.9 million.

Officials said impact fee revenue jumped by about 21 percent last year, driven by rebounding natural gas prices and growth in new wells exploring the vast Marcellus Shale reservoir.

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