Act 13 of 2012
The Act Amending Title 59 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (Act 13 of 2012) was signed by Governor Corbett on Feb. 14, 2012 with some provisions going into effect upon signing and others will become effective on April 14, 2012.
The law provides for the imposition of an unconventional gas well fee (also called a drilling impact fee), and the expenditure of the funds generated by that impact fee to local and state purposes specifically outlined in the law. The law also contains a mechanism as to how the fees shall be distributed. A significant portion of the fees generated will be used to cover the local impacts of drilling while several of state agencies will also receive funding for a variety of other purposes.
The law specifically provides for the imposition of an unconventional well fee by county (or alternatively municipalities compelling the imposition of an unconventional well fee). A county may impose the fee if unconventional gas wells are located within its borders and it passes an ordinance within 60 days of the effective date of the act. A county that does not pass an ordinance imposing a fee shall be prohibited from receiving funds. This prohibition shall remain in effect until a county passes an ordinance imposing a fee.
Under the law, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) administers the collection and disbursement of the fee. Also, the PUC may review ordinances at the request of a county or municipality as well as complaints filed by a well operator or other party aggrieved by a local ordinance.
Questions can be sent via email to the Commission’s resource account, ra-Act13@pa.gov, which has been established as a means of communicating with the Commission on informational matters. Interested parties may wish to provide an email and mailing address in which the PUC can use to provide you with information in the future.
Impact Fee Payments to Date - Attached is listing of producers who have paid their impact fees, a breakdown of vertical and horizontal wells and the number of disputed wells in the aggregate.
Act 13 - Producer's User Guide - The website for producers to verify annual report information is Act 13 Reporting Site . The User Guide is available to assist you in navigating the reporting system.
Explaining Act 13 - A presentation that provides additional information on Act 13 as well as information in brief on the Tentative Implementation Order and participating in the process before the PUC.
FAQs - The PUC has prepared a list of frequently asked questions on Act 13 to assist interested parties.
Fee Schedule - The specific calculations for the 2012 Impact Fee as outlined in the law.
DEP's Act 13 Information - Link to the Department of Environmental Protection's website regarding their information on Act 13.
eFiling Tutorial - The PUC has prepared an eFiling PowerPoint presentation for stakeholders to explain how to eFile documents with the Commission.
RFP for Local Zoning Outside Counsel - Link to the Request For Proposal (RFP) that the PUC has posted to retain outside legal counsel with expertise in Pennsylvania local zoning and the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
Secretarial Letters and Orders
Reconsideration Order Regarding Chapter 23 – Public Meeting of July 19, 2012. Docket No. M-2012-2288561.
Chapter 23 Final Order – On May 10, 2012, the Commission finalized provisions to implement, collect and distribute the impact fee as directed by Chapter 23 of Act 13. Due to uncertainty surrounding pending litigation, the Commission did not address the provisions of Chapter 33, which governs local ordinances that impose conditions, requirements or limitations on oil or gas operations. Docket No. M-2012-2288561.
Attachment A - Annual Act 13 of 2012 Producer Well Report with Instructions (Excel)
Attachment B - Act 13 Monthly Producer Report (Excel)
Attachment C - 2010 Municipality Approved Budget Report Form (Word)
Attachment D - Unconventional Gas Well Fund Usage Report with Instructions (Word)
Tentative Order to Begin Implementation of Act 13 – At the Public Meeting of March 15, 2012, the Commission sought comments on key portions of the Act that the PUC is required to administer including the procedures the PUC will use to implement, collect and distribute the impact fee as directed by the law.
Secretarial Letter - On April 26, 2012, the PUC issued a Secretarial Letter delaying action on the impact fee Final Implementation Order due to court injunction.
Secretarial Letter - On February 22, 2012, the PUC issued a Secretarial Letter provided direction for local governments and interested parties on the PUC’s implementation of Act 13.
Search Public Documents – For more information, use the Search Public Documents feature on this webpage and enter docket number M-2012-2288561 or view the Consolidated Case View. Information on county ordinances adopting the impact fee or filings from counties who have signaled intent to adopt the impact fee may be found using this search method.
Marcellus Shale En Banc Hearing
On March 11, 2010, the Public Utility Commission voted to hold a special en banc hearing to examine PUC jurisdictional issues related to Marcellus Shale development. The issues surrounding the development of the Marcellus Shale comes with many unanswered questions, many of which impact this Commission’s core functions. The PUC believes that these issues need to be examined and these questions answered sooner rather than later so that the Commission can fully protect the public while not stifling economic growth. The PUC does not intend to examine issues outside of this Commission’s jurisdiction, such as water quality and other environmental issues.
Agenda - En Banc Agenda for June 16, 2010.
Agenda - En Banc Agenda for April 22, 2010.
Marcellus Shale En Banc Hearing Audio on June 16, 2010 - Audio from 1:00 to 2:30 PM - Audio from 2:30 to 3:30 PM
Marcellus Shale En Banc Hearing Audio on April 22, 2010 - Audio from 1:00 to 2:30 PM - Audio from 2:30 to 3:30 PM
Press Release - En Banc press release for the second hearing on June 16, 2010. Dated April 22, 2010.
Press Release - En Banc press release for April 22, 2010. Dated March 26, 2010.
Motion - Joint motion by Vice Chairman Christy and Commissioner Powelson establishing the en banc hearing. Public Meeting of March 11, 2010, Docket Number I-2010-2163461.
The second hearing will be held at 1 p.m. in Hearing Room 1 of the Commonwealth Keystone Building, 400 North Street, Harrisburg, PA.
Secretarial Letter - Issued May 20, 2010, inviting 9 parties to provide testimony. The letter also contained specific questions the Commission would like answered.
Secretarial Letter - Issued March 25, 2010, inviting 10 parties to provide testimony. The letter also contained specific questions the Commission would like answered.
Interested parties are invited to submit written testimony. More direction on how to file comments including the questions the Commission would like to see addressed in parties’ comments can be found in the Secretarial Letter.
Comments related to the proceeding