October 28, 2020

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October 26, 2020

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Governor Corbett Outlines Plan for New Standards, Fees on Shale Drilling

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett announced that he will present a plan to the General Assembly that will implement numerous recommendations proposed by the Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission (Commission), including an impact fee on wells and more rigorous standards on hydraulic fracturing.  The impact fee would subject each well to a fee of up to $40,000 in the first year, $30,000 in the second, $20,000 in the third, and $10,000 in the fourth through tenth year, adding up to a potential $160,000 per well.  Seventy-five percent of the revenues collected from these fees would be distributed to the counties and municipalities in which drilling is taking place, with the vast majority of the remainder going to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for infrastructure and maintenance of roads in those same counties.

The proposed standards would increase well setback distances from wells and waterbodies, increase penalties and bond requirements, and expand gas operators' "presumed liability" for impairing water quality from 1,000 to 2,500.

Governor Corbett created the Commission by Executive Order in March in order to create a plan for developing the Marcellus Shale responsibly, and on July 22 the Commission issued its final report, which included 96 policy recommendations.

©2020 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume I, Number 280
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About this Author

Caleb Holmes, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Philadelphia, Environmental Law Litigation Attorney
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Caleb J. Holmes focuses his practice on environmental and commercial litigation. He has a wide range of experience in environmental transaction and regulatory counseling matters.

Caleb represents businesses in state and federal courts in environmental and commercial litigation matters. He advises and represents industrial and state clients on environmental issues arising in permitting, compliance activities, as well as business and real estate transactions generally. Caleb represents natural gas exploration and production companies and midstream...

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