Senate Committees Hold Hearing Highlighting Natural Gas Impact Fee

HARRISBURG – The state Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, chaired by Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23), and the Senate Local Government Committee, chaired by Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-21) today held a joint public hearing to discuss the positive benefits of Act 13 Impact Fee dollars on Pennsylvania communities.

The public hearing featured testimony from counties, townships, conservation districts and economic development organizations throughout the state.

Since 2012, natural gas companies operating in Pennsylvania will have paid over $630 million in impact fees to the Pennsylvania Utility Commission.

“As Governor Tom Wolf today unveiled his 2015-16 General Fund budget, which highlighted implementation of a state severance tax on natural gas extraction, we must be mindful of the opportunities currently being offered to our citizens as the result of Pennsylvania’s Act 13 law.  No other law in recent memory has brought so much back to rural Pennsylvania.”

During today’s hearing, Susquehanna County Commissioner Alan Hall addressed important contributions made to Susquehanna County by the industry following enactment of the Act 13 law.

“Municipalities and the County have used funds to improve bridges, sewer systems, roads, parks, and equipment to name a few. It has also allowed the entities the ability to free up other revenue streams to improve facilities, reduce debt, and prepare our communities for the future.”

Hall added, “the loss of the Act 13 funding would mean deteriorating conditions throughout the County with roads, bridges, infrastructure, lost jobs, and large tax increases throughout. Dealing with all the impacts without the funding will cripple our communities.”

Kurt Hausammann, Jr., AICP, Director of the Lycoming County Planning and Development Office discussed the leveraging Act 13 dollars in Lycoming County.  “Throughout the first four months of 2013, my department designed a merit based grant application process by which the commissioners could allocate a portion of Lycoming County’s Act 13 funds to address some of the infrastructure issues previously mentioned.  Invested wisely, we believe that Act 13 funds can help advance a number of projects and leverage a great deal of private and public investment. The $4.7 million of Lycoming County Act 13 funds –committed to date–will help fund about 35 ‘external’ projects. These are projects that originated external to the County government. The total value of these 35 projects exceeds $89.3 million.”

The committees also heard from Anthony J. Ventello, Executive Director of the Progress Authority located in Bradford County.

“We have experienced tax base expansion with new commercial and residential buildings. Our counties have two new hospitals improving health care delivery and experiencing their 24/7 economic impacts. Taxable income has risen 19%, farming remains the strongest in the core Marcellus counties, along with continued investment in our diversified local manufacturing sector.”

Ventello added that, “our legislators must be commended for the leadership provided with the passage of Act 13, which has been the most useful resource to maintain and improve our communities for all the impacts of shale gas drilling. Act 13 is providing for the foundation to strengthen our rural counties and prepare for additional investment.”

Testimony today also highlighted the beneficial aspects of the Impact Fee to the agricultural communities throughout the Commonwealth.  During the past several budget cycles, funding for conservation districts has declined; however, Act 13 funds have helped to fill the gap, according to testifiers.

“Act 13 works,” Senator Yaw said.  “All of the testifiers today made it clear that it works.  If it isn’t broke, why fix it?”

For a complete list of testifiers, along with testimony and hearing Video/Audio, visit

More information about state issues is available at Senator Yaw’s website, www.SenatorGeneYaw, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Howard W. Fry III, President, Lycoming County Association of Twp. Officials Kurt Hausammann, Jr., AICP, Director, Lycoming County Planning and Community Development


Adam Pankake (717) 787-3280

Senate Committees to Hear Testimony on Historic Act 13 Investments

Millions Provided to PA Counties, Municipalities Since 2012

HARRISBURG – Highlighting one of the most significant pieces of state legislation ever passed by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, two Senate committees will hear testimonials Tuesday from counties, townships, conservation districts and economic development organizations throughout the state who are currently benefiting from the natural gas drilling impact fee, according to Senators Gene Yaw (R-23) and Scott Hutchinson (R-21).

Yaw, who chairs the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, and Hutchinson, who chairs the Senate Local Committee, will combine their resources and listen to testimony from the people directly benefiting from the opportunities created through the Act 13 ‘Impact Fee’ law.

The joint hearing, set for Tuesday, March 3rd in Hearing Room 1 of the North Office Building, will begin at 8:30AM.

Signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett in 2012, Act 13 provided for the imposition of an unconventional gas well fee with funds distributed directly to local, county and state governments. In addition, Act 13 updated the environmental safeguards on natural gas extraction in the Oil and Gas Act for the first time since 1984.

Since 2012, natural gas companies operating in Pennsylvania will have paid over $630 million in impact fees to the Pennsylvania Utility Commission.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) emphasized the extensive work that went into establishing the impact fee.

“The passage of the Marcellus Shale impact fee in 2012 was a major achievement for Pennsylvania residents,” Scarnati stated. “This important legislation was the culmination of three years of work by the Legislature in crafting a comprehensive Marcellus Shale legislative package. I look forward to listening to Tuesday’s testimony, and hearing how Act 13 is generating significant funding to protect our environment, promote public safety and enhance our infrastructure. ”

“In my Senate district alone, the Impact Fee has generated over $120 million since 2013,” Yaw said. “No other law in history has returned so much to rural Pennsylvania. This hearing will provide an opportunity to listen and learn more about what other statewide local and county governments are doing to leverage their impact fee funding.”

“The advantage of the Impact Fee is that the funds are driven directly back to affected communities instead of becoming mired in the Harrisburg bureaucracy like so many other taxes,” said Senator Hutchinson. “I have seen its benefits on municipalities throughout my senate district, providing an important source of revenue to local governments that improves services for their residents.”

“The impact fee ensures communities, such as the ones I represent, are adequately compensated for the local impact of natural gas drilling,” said Senator Camera Bartolotta, Vice-Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. “The countless local officials I’ve spoken with have told me about the enormously positive impact the fee has had on our communities, and I look forward to hearing the perspective of others outside my district at the hearing tomorrow.”

The joint committee hearing will be broadcast LIVE on




Adam Pankake, Executive Director
Environmental Resources & Energy Committee
(717) 787-3280

Justin Leventry, Executive Director
Local Government Committee
(717) 787-9684

Benefits of the Impact Fee

Joint Public Hearing

Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee


Senate Local Government Committee

March 3rd, 2015

8:30 AM

North Office Building, Hearing Room 1


8:30 AM
Opening Comments

8:35 AM
County Governments

Tioga County Board of Commissioners
Erick Coolidge, Vice-Chairman

Susquehanna County Board of Commissioners
Alan M. Hall, Chairman

Greene County Board of Commissioners
Chuck Morris, Chairman

Lancaster County Board of Commissioners
Dennis Stuckey, Chairman

Lycoming County Planning and Community Development
Kurt Hausammann, Jr., AICP, Director | Attachment 1 | Attachment 2

9:35 AM
Township Supervisors

Butler County Association of Twp. Officials
Charles Stowe, President – Attachment

Lycoming County Association of Twp. Officials
Howard W. Fry III, President

Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors
Elam Herr, Assistant Executive Director

10:15 AM
Economic Development

Progress Authority
Anthony J. Ventello, Executive Director

Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corporation
Jason W. Rigone, Executive Director

10:40 AM
Conservation Districts

Beaver County Conservation District
Jim Shaner, Executive Director

State Conservation Commission
Karl Brown, Executive Secretary

11:00 AM

Written Testimony: