South Buffalo attaches requirement that driller fix damage to roads
By Jodi Weigand
Published: Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
For the first time, the South Buffalo Township supervisors are requiring a gas well drilling company to hire its own contractor to repair damage done to township roads by trucks traveling to the site.
The board imposed the condition when approving requests from MDS Energy of Kittanning to drill three Marcellus shale gas wells in the township.
Supervisors held a public hearing on the well requests on Wednesday.
“We're trying to keep up with it, but I had to stop and think: You guys are reimbursing us for this, but that doesn't cover the wear-and-tear on the machinery, and it's taking us away from doing our regular maintenance work,” Supervisor Terry Van Dyke said. Van Dyke is the township's road master.
Van Dyke said he spoke with a PennDOT official and learned this is how the state agency handles the issue. He said supervisors plan to make hiring a contractor a condition of approval for future well requests from any company. The contractor must be certified to do maintenance on state roads.
Companies doing work that could damage state or municipal roads typically sign agreements to cover costs to restore the road to its original condition.
As well drilling into the natural gas rich Marcellus shale has increased, it's become difficult for municipalities to keep up with the maintenance.
“We're getting more people involved and more concerns to address as well as everything we had before this gas well drilling came,” Supervisor Glenn Heilman said. “So we find ourselves rather burdened by this extra activity on the township level.”
Michael Knapp, MDS vice president of land and public relations, said the company has no problem complying with the condition.
“We'd be more than happy to help with anything we can,” he said.
MDS Energy plans to drill vertical Marcellus shale wells on three properties:
• Zecca farm, 109 Spohn Road.
• Crytzer farm, 188 Foreman Road.
• Slate Lick United Presbyterian Church, 106 Brown Road.
Knapp said MDS would like to start drilling by March 31. The operation, including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is expected to take about three weeks, with an additional week to restore the site.
MDS says it plans to use a nitrogen-based fracking process that uses less water than the traditional process, which requires millions of gallons of water.
About 50 truckloads of water would have to be hauled to the site, he told supervisors.
Knapp said the fracking will be done in two stages. About 80,000 gallons of water will be on site at one time.
The wells will eventually be connected to a gathering line that collects natural gas from other wells in the township.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Deer Lakes board cuts elementary counselors
- Kiski Valley authority manager resigns
- Oakmont councilman pushes for answers in vandalism of surveillance cameras
- Pittsburgh-area drivers roll with rising pump prices
- Classes resume after Leechburg Area bomb threat
- Woman struck by car in New Kensington bar’s parking lot
- Cool chemistry: Programs at Springdale library take inspiration from late science professor
- Leechburg adds 2 part-time police officers
- Avonmore parents enter disabled child in contest for wheelchair-accessible van
- Deer Lakes School District crafts tentative budget, but contract issues unresolved
- Highlands school board approves turf, track for Golden Rams Stadium