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Greene and Washington Communities to Get Large Share of Act 13 Revenue
On October 15, 2012
HARRISBURG – Oct. 15, 2012 – Nearly one in five dollars being distributed to counties and municipalities with gas wells through Act 13 will be coming back to Greene and Washington counties, state Sen. Tim Solobay announced today.
The Public Utility Commission today announced that it will distribute $99.4 million generated by Marcellus Shale Impact Fees to local communities with gas wells and contiguous municipalities. Of that, $19.6 million will be distributed in Washington and Greene counties, Solobay said.
“This money can be used for local needs and priorities instead of being poured into the state’s General Fund where politics makes winners and losers,” Solobay said. “Local officials can work with residents and community groups to decide where they’ll get the most bang for the buck. That’s a refreshing change.”
State officials today announced that Act 13 will generate a total of $204 million, with $23 million of that going to state agencies for environmental protection, fire protection, emergency management and administration.
Of the remaining $181 million, 40 percent will go into the Marcellus Legacy Fund with the majority of that to be distributed in all 67 counties for environmental, water, sewer and road projects through a competitive grant program. Fifteen percent of that fund will be distributed to all counties based on population. Of that, Washington and Greene counties will get $176,314 and $32,821 respectively.
Of the money being distributed to county and local government where gas wells are located, Greene County municipalities will get $4.5 million and Washington County municipalities will receive $7.6 million. The Public Utility Commission, which administers Act 13, will send $3.1 million to Greene County government, and $4.4 million to Washington County.
“The growth of gas drilling has brought tremendous economic benefit to the region, but it’s also straining local infrastructure, so the impact fee will help communities continue to grow the economy while creating a legacy for future generations,” Solobay said. “But that does not excuse energy companies from financial responsibility for their individual impact. This money is in addition to what the companies have already been contributing toward roads and infrastructure.”
The initial round of disbursements should be in the mail in the next ten days, Solobay said, and the future could be even better.
“The fee is based on each well and as more wells go on line the fee will generate more money for communities,” he said. “It could well double in the near future.”
Act 13 outlines that the local distribution can be spent on wide variety of community needs, including construction projects, emergency response, records, management, housing, social services, law enforcement costs and municipal planning.