PITTSBURGH — Landowners and attorneys say that Chesapeake Energy has begun to deduct a portion of Pennsylvania's state impact fee from some lease royalty payments, even though that's expressly forbidden under the state's major oil and gas law.
Some landowners have unknowingly agreed to such language in recent contracts, according to news reports.
Lorraine Seiber, a church elder of First United Presbyterian Church of Darlington, says she didn't know the impact fee deduction was part of a Chesapeake lease that bears her signature. The church, which is about 40 miles north of Pittsburgh, approved the deal within the past month, after two years of negotiations.
A Chesapeake spokesman declined to comment on the matter. The company is based in Oklahoma City.
Impact fees are designed to provide protection for environment and to ensure municipal ordinances are being followed.