Act 13 (Impact Fee)
The Act Amending Title 59 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (Act 13 of 2012) was signed by Governor Corbett on Feb. 14, 2012 with some provisions going into effect upon signing and others will become effective on April 14, 2012.
The law provides for the imposition of an unconventional gas well fee (also called a drilling impact fee), and the expenditure of the funds generated by that impact fee to local and state purposes specifically outlined in the law. The law also contains a mechanism as to how the fees shall be distributed. A significant portion of the fees generated will be used to cover the local impacts of drilling while several of state agencies will also receive funding for a variety of other purposes.
The law 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 the act. 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 the law, 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 county or municipality as well as complaints filed by a well operator or other party aggrieved by a local ordinance.
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 and mailing address in which the PUC can use to provide you with information in the future.
Interactive Impact Fee Website
Interactive Impact Fee Website – The interactive website allows users to better examine information related to the collection and distribution of the state’s unconventional gas well Impact Fee. The website includes graphical data analysis including the top paying producers, well count breakdowns and top collecting counties and local governments.
Impact Fee Distributions
Unconventional Gas Well Fund Usage Reports for the 2011 Reporting Year/2012 Distribution Year – County-by-county breakdowns of the usage reports for the 2011 Impact Fee reporting year for funds received in December 2012.
Overall Breakdown of Impact Fee Money - As of Nov. 7, 2012. Highlights overall money to be distributed and how it was broken down between affected state agencies, county governments, local municipalities and the Marcellus Shale Fund.
Local Government Impact Fee Distributions – As of Dec. 7, 2012. Highlights how the money is distributed to local governments who have wells that are subject to the fee. The law is specific about how the $106.2 million is to be distributed to local governments with 36 percent of that money designated county governments with wells subject to the fee; 37 percent designated for municipalities with wells subject to the fee; and 27 percent designated for all local governments in counties with wells.
Unconventional Gas Wells Subject to the Fee - As of Oct. 15, 2012. Provides the list of unconventional gas wells subject to the fee. Each horizontal well subject to the fee paid $50,000. Each vertical well subject to the fee paid $10,000. The amount of money being distributed is based on the amount of fees collected.
Impact Fee Reporting
Producer Fees for Calendar Year 2012 - A list that shows the criteria for setting the fees per well for 2012.
The PUC Unconventional Gas Well Fee Administration Report - Section 2314(h)(1) of Act 13 requires the PUC to submit an annual report to the Senate and House of Representatives Appropriations Committees and Environmental Resources and Energy Committees that includes a listing of all deposits to and expenditures from the fund.
The PUC Unconventional Gas Well Fee Administration Report (PUC Spending) - Under Section 2314 (c.1), the PUC received $1 million to administer Act 13. The following pages outline that itemization and explanation of the spending.
Impact Fee Producers Payments to Date - As of Oct. 17, 2012. The Commission has made public the amount of money the unconventional well drillers are required to pay under Act 13 of 2012 (Impact Fee). It also includes information on the number of vertical and horizontal wells subject to the fee, amount due and how much money has been paid.
The PUC is working to ensure that the maximum amount of fees have been collected prior to completing the remainder of the distribution calculations. The amount of money to be distributed is based on the amount of fees collected.
Producer Reporting Forms
Act 13 Annual Producer Well Report - Annual Act 13 of 2012 Producer Well Report with Instructions (Excel)
Act 13 Monthly Producer Report - Act 13 Monthly Producer Report (Excel)
Local Government Reporting Forms
2011 Municipality Approved Budget Report Form (PDF) from 2011 to 2012 (Revised January 10, 2013)
2012 Municipality Approved Budget Report Form (PDF)
Unconventional Gas Well Fee Report Form - Unconventional Gas Well Fund Usage Report with Instructions (Word)
Act 13 Information
Act 13 Producer's User Guide - The website for producers to verify annual report information is Act 13 Reporting Site. The Producer's User Guide is available to assist you in navigating the reporting system.
Act 13 User's Guide - A guide for public users of the Act 13 website program where you can find information on producers, wells, payments and disbursements.
Explaining Act 13 - A presentation that provides additional information on Act 13 as well as information in brief on the Tentative Implementation Order and participating in the process before the PUC.
FAQs - The PUC has prepared a list of frequently asked questions on Act 13 to assist interested parties.
Fee Schedule - The specific calculations for the 2012 Impact Fee as outlined in the law.
DEP's Act 13 Information - Link to the Department of Environmental Protection's website regarding their information on Act 13.
Secretarial Letters and Orders
Clarification Order Regarding Chapter 23 - Public Meeting of December 20, 2012. Docket No. M-2012-2288561.
Petition of Andadarko E&P Company LP for Amendment and Clarification - Interested persons may file comments on this petition with the Commission by Oct. 15, 2012. Docket No. M-2012-2288561. Dated Sept. 28, 2012.
Reconsideration Order Regarding Chapter 23 – Public Meeting of July 19, 2012. Docket No. M-2012-2288561.
Chapter 23 Final Order – On May 10, 2012, the Commission finalized provisions to implement, collect and distribute the impact fee as directed by Chapter 23 of Act 13. Due to uncertainty surrounding pending litigation, the Commission did not address the provisions of Chapter 33, which governs local ordinances that impose conditions, requirements or limitations on oil or gas operations. Docket No. M-2012-2288561.
Tentative Order to Begin Implementation of Act 13 – At the Public Meeting of March 15, 2012, the Commission sought comments on key portions of the Act that the PUC is required to administer including the procedures the PUC will use to implement, collect and distribute the impact fee as directed by the law.
Secretarial Letter - On April 26, 2012, the PUC issued a Secretarial Letter delaying action on the impact fee Final Implementation Order due to court injunction.
Secretarial Letter - On February 22, 2012, the PUC issued a Secretarial Letter provided direction for local governments and interested parties on the PUC’s implementation of Act 13.
Search Public Documents – For more information, use the Search Public Documents feature on this webpage and enter docket number M-2012-2288561 or view the Consolidated Case View. Information on county ordinances adopting the impact fee or filings from counties who have signaled intent to adopt the impact fee may be found using this search method.