Breaking: Details of Corbett’s Marcellus Plan Emerge
By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor
PoliticsPA has obtained the basic framework of Tom Corbett’s major Marcellus shale policy announcement from a source close to the Governor. His plan includes an impact fee with a 75/25 percent split between local and state governments.
Today in Allegheny County, Corbett will meet with workers at the Greater Pennsylvania Regional Council of Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center. Immediately afterword, he unveil the plan that everyone in Harrisburg has been waiting for the past several months. His public comments will focus on employment opportunities created by the natural gas industry.
The most-watched component of the plan will be the revenue generating impact fee, which Corbett will officially support. The impact fee breakdown is as follows:
75 percent will be retained at the local level. Of that, 36 percent will be retained by county, 37 percent distributed to host municipalities, and no more than 27 percent will be distributed to all municipalities within a host county, including those indirectly impacted by drilling.
The 25 percent going to the state will be set aside for Marcellus-related costs. The majority of thus-generated revenue (70 percent plus) will go to PENNDOT for projects within affected counties. 10.5 percent goes to the Department of Environmental Protection for enforcement and legacy costs (capped at $10 million). The remaining revenue is split up among other agencies: 4.5 percent to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency; 3.75 percent to the Office of State Fire Commissioner; 3.75 percent to the Dept. of Health; 7.5 percent to the Public Utility Commission. These items are capped at $2 million.
Corbett will also call for increased bonding of wells, from the current $25,000 cost of a blanket bond to $250,000.
He will propose stronger environmental measures recommended by the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, including greater mandatory distances between well sites and water sources. His plan also entails, “uniform and consistent statewide standards,” which could mean a preemption of local drilling ordinances by state law.
Here is the complete proposal: