Pennsylvania recalculating distributions from Marcellus Shale fee

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HARRISBURG -- State officials said this morning that they miscalculated the amount that some towns will receive from the new Marcellus Shale drilling impact fee, and that they are working to fix the error.

Gov. Tom Corbett and the state Public Utility Commission announced last week how the $204.4 million raised this fall from Pennsylvania's first round of the new per-well fee would be distributed. That assessment charged energy companies $50,000 for each horizontal well drilled here and $10,000 for shallower vertical wells.

The commission announced this morning that it did not properly calculate the portion of the distribution formula that allocates dollars to towns based on how many wells are located within five miles of its borders.

The error was identified after some towns asked the commission to double-check their portion, PUC spokesman Jennifer Kocher said.

"We apologize for any delay and inconvenience," Ms. Kocher said in a statement. "All impact fee disbursements will still be made prior to the legislative deadline of Dec. 1."

She said the commission does not have a count on how many towns may see their share of the drilling fee change. Officials will be working around the clock to determine which towns are not affected, and mail those checks immediately, she added.

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Harrisburg Bureau Chief Laura Olson: or 717-787-4254.


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