Act 13 of 2012 (Impact Fee) was signed into law by Governor Corbett on Feb. 14, 2012. Act 13/Impact Fee amends Title 58 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (Act 13 of 2012).
Act 13/Impact Fee provides for the imposition of an unconventional gas well fee (also called an impact fee), and the distribution of those funds to local and state governments. Act 13/Impact Fee also contains provisions regarding how the impact fee may be spent. A significant portion of the funds collected will be distributed directly to local governments to cover the local impacts of drilling. Also, several state agencies will receive funding to be used for a variety of other purposes.
Act 13/Impact Fee specifically provides for the imposition of an unconventional well fee by county (or alternatively municipalities compelling the imposition of an unconventional well fee). A county may impose the fee if unconventional gas wells are located within its borders and it passes an ordinance within 60 days of the effective date of Act 13. A county that does not pass an ordinance imposing a fee shall be prohibited from receiving funds. This prohibition shall remain in effect until a county passes an ordinance imposing a fee.
Under Act 13/Impact Fee, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) administers the collection and disbursement of the fee. Also, the PUC may review ordinances at the request of a municipality as well as complaints filed by a well owner/operator or a person residing within the municipality who is aggrieved by the enactment or enforcement of a local ordinance. Due to proceedings before the sate courts, the Commission currently is not reviewing local ordinances.
Questions should be sent via email to the Commission’s resource account, ra-Act13@pa.gov, which has been established as a means of communicating with the Commission on informational matters. Interested parties may wish to provide an email, mailing address and telephone number, which the PUC can use to provide you with information in the future.