On September 14, 2013, Pennsylvania's Environmental Quality Board proposed increasing the fee for an unconventional well permit application. The Board proposed the increase because the Department of Environmental Protection received 22% less permit applications than it did in 2010 and the Department is assuming more responsibilities, such as streamlining its technology. The proposal would change the fee for unconventional well permits from being based on the length of the wellbore to a flat fee of either $5,000 for "unconventional non-vertical wells" or $4,200 for "unconventional vertical wells." The current average cost for an unconventional non-vertical well permit fee is $3,200 and the average for a vertical unconventional well permit fee is $2,000. The proposed did not include an increase in the conventional well permit application fee.
The increased revenue will enable the Office of Oil and Gas Management to ensure industry compliance and environmental protection, as the Office currently has 202 full-time equivalent employees, up from 64 in 2004. The increased revenue will also fund the Department's expanded use of technology for monitoring, inspecting, and reporting well activity.
The proposal is available at: http://www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol43/43-37/1666.html
Written by: Tom Panighetti
September 17, 2013