Legislation that allows counties to impose impact fees on Marcellus Shale drillers and prohibits local governments from using zoning ordinances to restrict drilling cleared the House Finance Committee. The vote was on party lines.

The bill adopts many of the recommendations made by Governor Corbett’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission.

The measure would allow counties to charge $40,000 per well in the first year. That amount falls by $10,000 each year and then levels off at $10,000 for ten years.

The bill’s distribution structure would allocate 75 percent of the fees collected to host counties and municipalities. Of that the total fee:

  • 27 percent retained by the county;
  • 27 percent distributed to host municipalities;
  • 21 percent distributed to all municipalities, with 50 percent of that distributed based on population of the municipality divided by the population of the county, multiplied by the amount available. The other 50 percent would distributed based using the highway mileage of the municipality divided by the total highway mileage of the county, multiplied by the amount available for distribution.