Communities across Pennsylvania will receive a share of the $204 million Marcellus Shale impact fee, but towns in the Chartiers Valley School District will only get a few hundred dollars out of it.
The money will be delivered within the next two weeks to help communities offset the costs of drilling or equipment trucks rumbling through their towns.
Scott Township will get the most with $346.34 while Heidelberg will get the least with only $38.73 allotted to the borough. Bridgeville will receive $117.75 and Collier Township will get $185.14.
In comparison, Frazer Township is set to receive $54,720, which is by far the biggest portion in Allegheny County.
Bridgeville - $117.75
Collier Township - $185.14
Heidelberg - $38.73
Scott Township - $346.34
South Fayette - $2,731.39
One of the biggest losers in this area is South Fayette, which was slated to receive $2,731.39 from the drilling money. Instead, the money is being withheld by the state Public Utility Commission because the town is one of several in the area with a drilling ordinance currently being reviewed by state regulators.
Three communities in neighboring Washington County are in a similar position with even more money on the line. Cecil Township was scheduled to receive $246,098, Mt. Pleasant to receive $500,000 and Robinson to receive $225,738.
State Rep. Jesse White, D-Cecil, represents a portion of South Fayette and called the withholding of money from those four communities illegal.
“I don’t know what’s worse, the sorry and shameful hijacking and politicizing of the impact fee money, or the PUC’s blatant disregard for the law,” White said of Act 13 that now regulates and taxes drilling. “To withhold impact fee money intended for critical needs such as road improvements and public safety from these townships at the epicenter of Marcellus Shale drilling activity isn’t just cruel, it’s clearly punitive and illegal.”
Gov. Tom Corbett said that county and municipal leaders may use these funds for various
expenses related to impacts from natural gas development, including:
- Construction, repair and maintenance of roads, bridges and other public infrastructure
- Water, storm water and sewer system construction and repair
- Emergency-response preparedness, training and equipment, and recruitment of responders
- Preservation and reclamation of surface and subsurface water supplies
- Records management, geographic information systems and information technology
- Projects that increase the availability of affordable housing for low-income residents
- Delivery of social services, including domestic relations, drug and alcohol treatment, job training, and counseling;
- Offsetting increased judicial system costs, including training
- Assistance to county conservation districts for inspection, oversight and enforcement of natural gas development
- County or municipal planning
Go to www.puc.pa.gov to see detailed distribution information.