Hearing to address gas drill ordinance for Jefferson Hills
By Patrick Cloonan
Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 4:41 a.m.
Jefferson Hills plans to be ready if and when the state Supreme Court acts on the state's oil and gas Act 13, and is taking steps to regulate the mapping of oil, gas and whatever else is underground.
Borough council voted unanimously on Monday to schedule a public hearing on Aug. 14 at 6 p.m. concerning a long-delayed oil and gas ordinance.
The high court heard arguments last October on an appeal of a Commonwealth Court ruling that shot down Act 13's limits on local governments' ability to regulate oil and gas drilling, but has issued no decision yet.
Borough officials hope the lower court's decision will be upheld. If not, borough planner and zoning director Allen Cohen said, “It's back to the drawing board.”
Council voted 3-1 to approve an ordinance that would regulate geophysical and seismic testing in the borough, and by the same vote OK'd a separate agreement with Geokinetics USA Inc. allowing it to conduct a survey at Beedle Park and on borough-maintained streets.
Council vice president James Weber was joined by Councilmen Tracey Khalil and David Montgomery in voting for the measures. Councilwoman Kathleen Reynolds voted no.
“Different taxpayers have come to my house and said they're not for it,” Reynolds said. “Some were very concerned.”
Her colleagues said they too are concerned, but felt they had to vote in favor.
Council president Christopher King and Councilwomen Janice Cmar and Vickie Ielase were absent.
Cohen was principal author of the Geokinetics agreement with public works director Tom Lovell, and finance director and acting boroughmanager Andrew McCreery.
“Both parties have used whatever leverage they had and came up with this agreement,” McCreery said.
The agreement bonds the borough's roads against the heavy vehicles that will be used for the survey.
It adds the borough to Geokinetics' insurance for up to $1 million per incident.
It also bars the use of explosives or shot holes as part of the survey of borough properties. Usually 2.2-pound dynamite charges are employed.
Geokinetics agreed to pay a $642 permit fee for the work in Beedle Park.
McCreery said Geokinetics “verbally said they will comply with this (new) ordinance.”
The ordinance and agreement are part of the borough's response to a canvassing effort that began in February.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161 ext. 1967, or email@example.com.
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.
- Kovacevic: Enough of these Steelers already
- Penguins’ Orpik out; Neal to have phone hearing
- Penguins players are not out looking for fights
- Steelers WR Brown says ‘I thought I had it clean’ after wild, near-miss finish
- Nelson Mandela: The real legacy
- Cranberry woman wins Miss Pennsylvania USA pageant
- Steelers’ NFL playoff hopes are all but gone in loss to Dolphins
- Former Steeler Wallace plays bit part in Dolphins victory
- Likely loss of Steelers draft pick looms because of Tomlin misstep
- ‘Six by Sondheim’ brings the Broadway legend’s works to HBO
- Pop culture Q&A: ‘Young and the Restless’ actress is sister of ‘White House’ actress