TribLIVE

| Home


Weather Forecast
 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Limits on gas drilling adopted in Ohio Township

Daily Photo Galleries

Tuesday, May 3, 2011
 

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

Most-Read Stories

  1. Lopsided loss to Eagles shows Steelers have issues aplenty
  2. Steelers notebook: Keisel always hoped to return
  3. Harrison’s 5 RBIs help Pirates pound Brewers
  4. Hero Franklin Regional security guard out of work
  5. Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability
  6. Sandusky cover-up case unusually shrouded
  7. Traffic for eastbound Squirrel Hill Tunnel getting congested
  8. Woman in stable condition after Hill District shooting that killed daughter
  9. Car goes over hillside near Aliquippa High School
  10. Pirates notebook: Prospect Sanchez makes 1st start at first base with Indy
  11. Roundup: Keurig strikes deal with Kraft on coffee brands; more
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.