ShareThis Page

Jefferson Hills officials slate drilling hearings

| Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 2:16 a.m.

Jefferson Hills officials plan to conduct a public hearing in April to discuss a proposed ordinance regarding potential oil and gas drilling.

Council voted unanimously on Monday to schedule and advertise the hearing for discussion of a new oil and gas overlay districts zoning ordinance that would bring the borough one step closer to hosting Marcellus shale drilling operations.

Borough planner and zoning director Allen Cohen said Jefferson Hills had been in a holding pattern on the issue from about this time last year until December, when the state Supreme Court threw out portions of Act 13 — Pennsylvania's oil and gas drilling law — that would have restricted local zoning.

“We've had our pending ordinance for about a year,” Cohen said. “But now that the Supreme Court has ruled on the issue, we're going to consider adopting it again.”

Cohen said the areas proposed for drilling zones are largely in rural sections of the borough.

“Basically, it's in areas that are away from densely populated areas,” he said. “Sort of on the fringes of the borough and in more underdeveloped areas.”

A map of the proposed zoning shows potential drilling could take place in the southwest portion of the borough, part of the northeast border with West Mifflin, and the vicinity surrounding the Clairton industrial area, among other isolated spots.

The public hearing is tentatively scheduled to take place around April 10.

Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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.