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Gov. Corbett Unveils Proposed ‘Impact Fees’ on Natural Gas Drillers

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Governor Tom Corbett has made his much-anticipated proposal to impose “impact fees” on natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.

At an event today in Pittsburgh, Gov. Corbett proposed to allow the counties where gas drilling is taking place to impose a fee, 75 percent of which would be shared by each county and its municipalities.

“We’re proposing a fee per well of up to $40,000 in the first year, $30,000 in the second year, $20,000 in the third year, and no more than $10,000 in years four through ten.  That’s a total of $160,000 per well,” the governor told reporters.

Corbett says municipalities can use the money for road and sewer repairs, low-income housing, social services, drug and alcohol treatment, municipal planning, and a variety of other purposes.

The remaining 25 percent of the fees would be divided among state agencies that deal with drilling impacts, with the lion’s share going to PennDOT.

The governor is proposing a fee that would collect a total of $160,000 per natural gas well over a 10-year period.  He says it’s estimated the fee would bring in about $120 million in the first year, increasing to $200 million per year by year six.

He also proposes stricter regulations on gas drilling, including higher fines for violators, increasing the bonding requirements for wells, and putting more distance between wells and water supplies and waterways.

Reported by KYW Harrisburg bureau chief Tony Romeo

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