HARRISBURG – The impact fee on unconventional natural gas wells will deliver more than $200,000 through Pennsylvania’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program to Indiana County communities, according to Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41) and Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-62).
The funding was approved at the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) meeting on January 16, 2024. A grant in the amount of $60,550 was approved for the Indiana County Conservation District and will be used for the Canopy Walk Development Project. A second grant totaling $140,850 was awarded to White Township for the community amphitheater.
“These projects are both assets to our local community, and I’m very pleased to have advocated for this state funding,” Pittman said. “For more than a decade now, the revenues from the impact fee on natural gas have helped not just areas in which the gas is collected, but all of Pennsylvania.”
“This is tremendous news for Indiana County,” Struzzi said. “These funds will help White Township with the community amphitheater and will also grow the educational opportunities and experiences offered by the conservation district while enhancing the overall site that houses the district, Westmoreland Community College and the Indiana County Technology Center. I am happy to support these investments within our region.”
“This funding is critical to the completion of our project and will be used to match an existing $90,000 grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR),” Indiana Conservation District Executive Director, Douglas Beri Jr. stated. “The overall project is a collaboration between the District and ICTC, where students enrolled in the carpentry program will help to build portions of the trail as part of their education. The canopy walk portion of the project will make this the first and only canopy walk in Western Pennsylvania.”
Impact fees are levied in addition to regular business taxes paid by every corporation in Pennsylvania. The disbursements were based on a formula established in Act 13 of 2012 to ensure communities affected by drilling receive their fair share of funding, authorized by the Commonwealth Financing Authority through various state programs, for projects such as road and bridge repairs, housing and other infrastructure needs.