04 Oct Governor Tom Corbett’s Plan
On Monday, October 3, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett called unveiled a plan regarding Marcellus Shale that could potentially have a big impact for the industry. The plan is designed to both regulate and encourage the booming Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. The details of the comprehensive plan are as follows:
• This would allow counties to impose impact fees for up to 10 years on each shale well, beginning with a maximum of $40,000 per well in the first year. The maximum amount would decline over time to $10,000 in the 10th (final) year.
• 75% of fee revenue would be sent to drilling counties and communities for road and bridge repair, social services, affordable housing projects, emergency response, public water projects.
• 25% of fee revenue would be sent to state agencies for gas pipeline inspection, road and bridge repair, health studies, emergency response and well drilling inspection.
• An estimated $120 million in the first year alone and up to an estimated $195 million in the sixth year is projected to be collected.
• Operators would be required to increase insurance on each well drilled from $2,000 to $10,000, or on an operatorʼs aggregate from $25,000 to $250,000.
• Spacing would be increased between drilling and water bodies from 100 feet to 300 feet.
• Spacing would be increased between drilling and private residential wells from 200 feet to 500 feet.
• Spacing would be increased between drilling and public drinking water systems from 200 feet to 1,000.
• An operatorʼs “presumed liability” would be expanded for polluting water from 1,000 feet around a well to 2,500 feet, and from 6 months after drilling completion to 12 months.
• Penalties would be doubled for civil violations from $25,000 to $50,000.
• Daily penalties for noncompliance would be doubled from $1,000 to $2,000.
• “Green Corridors” would be developed with natural gas vehicle fueling stations at least every 50 miles along key highways.
• School and mass transit agencies would be helped to convert to natural gas fuel.