More than $2.6 million will be headed to the Greater Lehigh Valley from Marcellus shale impact fees.
According to a press release from state Rep. Justin Simmons, R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton, checks will be distributed by July 1 by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
No Greater Lehigh Valley counties are host to Marcellus shale natural gas wells, but will receive money from the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which is set aside for nonhosting communities. The recipients:
• Berks County will receive $396,416.
• Lehigh County will receive $340,404.
• Northampton County will receive $287,390.
• Bucks County will receive $601,042.
• Carbon County will receive $62,106.
• Montgomery County will receive $778,773.
• Monroe County will receive $44,687.
• Schuylkill County will receive $140,842.
Money distributed by the fund can be used by counties for emergency response planning, training and other activities; water, stormwater and sewer system construction and repair; infrastructure maintenance and repair; and statewide environmental initiatives.
Under Act 13, impact fees are imposed on drilling companies that are extracting natural gas in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale regions. The fees fluctuate depending on the price of natural gas and the rate of inflation, according to Simmons.
The fund derives its revenue from the 40 percent portion of collected impact fees that goes back to the state.
According to Simmons, the PUC collected impact fees totaling more than $223.5 million in 2014, bringing the four-year total since Act 13’s passage to nearly $856 million.