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PA Impact Fee Generating Big Money

PA Impact Fee Generating Big Money

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's new "impact fee" on the booming natural gas drilling industry is expected to generate $224.5 million from wells in 2013, up 10 percent over last year's amount.

The Corbett administration said Friday the projection is based on Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission data.

A two-year-old state law imposes a 15-year fee on companies drilling into the Marcellus Shale formation. The annual fee for each horizontally drilled well is between $5,000 and $60,000, depending on the price of natural gas and age of the well. Vertical wells are assessed a smaller fee.

The state will take about $20 million up front for various regulatory agencies. Sixty percent of what's left will be split among about counties and municipalities that host gas wells. State grant programs split up