SHAMOKIN - Northumberland County is anticipating the receipt of tens of thousands of dollars by year's end, a result of the state's impact fee on natural gas drilling.

The county will receive $80,197.62, according to Pat Mack, county planning director, who added that the money must be used for conservation activities.

Jeff McClintock, county budget director, said the funding will be used to offset the county's annual contribution to the Northumberland County Conservation District, which he said averages $130,000.

The money is a result of a law passed in February that provides funding for municipalities and counties affected directly by natural gas drilling, as well as those, like Northumberland County, that are not.

More than $204 million was paid out to various entities, the far majority of which went to counties and municipalities directly impacted by drilling.

According to a press release from Sen. John Gordner, R-27, at the time of the law's enactment, 60 percent of the fees are given those directly impacted. The rest are used by the state to support environmental programs such as the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, water and sewer projects, acid mine drainage cleanup, watershed initiatives and open space and greenway development.

Columbia County will receive $74,744.33; Lycoming County, $4,025,904.26; Snyder County, $33,683.21; Schuylkill County, $125,808.49; Union County, $38,133.07.