Limits on gas drilling adopted in Ohio Township
Ohio Township supervisors last night approved an ordinance that places regulations on companies drilling for Marcellus shale gas, despite opposition from residents fearful of the industry.
"It's not safe. The industry is still in flux and people don't have enough information," said Ted Poppovich of Ben Avon. "This process lacks transparency."
Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the measure. About 75 people, most of them opposed to drilling, attended the meeting.
The ordinance limits drilling within 1,500 feet of any residence, business, school, religious institution, swimming pool or other public building; requires companies to install a 6-foot-high safety fence around its operations; restricts drilling to between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.; and requires companies to provide police and fire officials with an emergency plan.
There is a $500 penalty for violations.
"I think you need to go further," said Seth Jackson of Ohio Township. "I think we need to stop this altogether."
Solicitor Mike Witherel said the township's current ordinance, adopted in 2003, placed no restrictions on drilling. Local municipalities are preempted by the state Oil and Gas Act, which prevents them from prohibiting drilling.
"As it stands now, it's open season in Ohio Township. This ordinance would make it closed season," Witherel said.
Supervisor Thomas R. Beatty allayed concerns of a conflict of interest by saying that neither his engineering firm, ACA Engineering Inc., nor GWE Resources, a gas, water and energy firm in which Beatty is a partner, would profit from the measure.
"I assure you, I gain nothing financially," he said. "If it comes down to it, I will abstain my vote."
Township supervisors last month approved a lease between the Avonworth Municipal Authority and Energy US that gave the Downtown-based company the authority to drill for Marcellus shale gas beneath 119 acres in ACORD Community Park in Kilbuck and Ohio townships.
The five-year lease was overturned, however, when other communities that make up the authority rejected the deal.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates lose on late Cardinals rally
- Polamalu made 1st-time captain; Roethlisberger named for offense
- Steelers formalize practice squad
- Pirates notebook: Sanchez returns to Bucs in offensive slump
- Steelers receiver Heyward-Bey looks to make most of chance
- Family of Children’s Hospital transplant baby urges feds to change cochlear implants policy
- Steelers know fast start could be key to upcoming season
- Democratic gubernatorial nominee in spotlight at Labor Day Parade
- Connellsville Mum Festival to be held Saturday
- On border of Westmoreland, Fayette, Jacobs Creek section is sacred spot
- Scientists dismiss dire outlook for Western Pennsylvania winter weather