The state’s conservation districts got some bad news from the Corbett Administration today. Their budgets have been reduced to zero. The plan now is to use impact fee money from the drilling industry to bankroll their work.
Money from the impact fee was supposed to boost the districts, which say they have taken on a higher workload because of natural gas drilling and Chesapeake Bay recovery work. It was also supposed to supplement county contributions, many of which have been declining as well.
Instead, it looks like impact money will partially replace, instead of augment, the district’s bankroll. Counties where drilling is not occurring — including most of the midstate — will likely see their district receive less than those in shale country.