Fees on unconventional well permits will go up beginning today, and the measure is expected to bring in an extra $4.7 million for new projects.
The Department of Environmental Protection announced Friday that the Environmental Quality Board adopted the permitting change, which is the first fee increase since 2009.
The fee will increase by about $1,800 for each nonvertical natural gas well and $1,300 for each vertical natural gas well. Fees for conventional oil and gas well operators will remain the same.
Fees will remain fixed at $5,000 for nonvertical natural gas wells and $4,200 for vertical gas wells. Prior to the change, the fee varied and was based on well bore length.
DEP said in a news release that the revenue will support new informational technology projects related to oil and gas, such as streamlining electronic review, carrying out mobile digital inspections and modernizing databases. The funds also will be used to hire additional employees in the Office of Oil and Gas Management.
“Under the Corbett administration, there has been a strategic, proactive approach to the oversight of this industry,” said DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo, who chairs the EQB. “The efforts to date have been unprecedented, and this fee increase will give us the ability to continue to grow and strengthen our program along with the growing industry.”