Energy. Environment. Economy.

DEP increases gas well permit fees

A natural gas drilling site in Susquehanna County.

Marie Cusick/StateImpact Pennsylvania

A natural gas drilling site in Susquehanna County.

The state Department of Environmental Protection is raising the permit fees gas companies pay for unconventional wells.

The increase will raise an additional $4.7 million in revenue, which will be used to hire more staff in DEP’s office of Oil and Gas Management.

“Under the Corbett administration, there has been a strategic, proactive approach to the oversight of this industry,” DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo said in a statement. “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.”

Gas industry trade group, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, supports the increase.

“We’ve done so over the course of the past several years and certainly support this increase as well,” says spokesman Travis Windle. “We don’t believe taxpayers should be responsible these costs.”

For unconventional wells, the price will increase by about $1,800, for a total of $5,000.  For vertical natural gas wells it goes up $1,300 and will cost $4,200. Fees for conventional gas operators won’t change.

Previously, the price varied based on the length of the well bore. The new fees take effect June 14.



  • Celia Janosik

    “We don’t believe taxpayers should be responsible for these costs.” If this statement is true, why do so many people lack clean drinking water after drilling has occurred nearby? The Woodlands, Butler County is one that springs to mind along with Terry Greenwood from Washington County who passed away last Monday with a rare brain tumor. There are thousands across the country who no longer have clean water for their very basic necessities. How many years do we have to “study” this problem? How many people have to suffer before this becomes a story big enough for the so called press to cover this Huge problem? Slick water hydraulic fracturing uses billions of gallons of clean water and it can never be returned for human consumption and well casings fail 5% to 6% immediately and 50% will have failed in 30 years. This is well known in the drilling industry.

  • 3C

    Now if only they would fine them real fines for all the violations and even inspect them, rather than give out administrative violations, no fines or just a slap on the wrist. Just how much environmental and health and safety impacts is PA supposed to handle? Paying more for permits to harm us?

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