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Murrysville workshop to focus on drilling issues

| Wednesday, July 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Penn State Extension officials are sponsoring a workshop in Murrysville next week covering shale-gas drilling issues.

The workshop comes on the heels of pending legislation that would make it easier for drilling companies to combine land leased for drilling if Gov. Tom Corbett signs off.

Penn State Marcellus Education Team officials will hold the workshop on Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Murrysville Community Center at 3091 Carson Ave. Registration is required by calling 724-837-1402.

Officials said the workshop will focus on what property owners should consider when a drilling company approaches them for a pipeline agreement or permission for seismic testing on their land.

Jon Laughner, one of the extension agents leading the workshop, was not available for an interview to provide more details. Shale-gas drilling has become big business in Pennsylvania, which led legislators last year to impose impact fees on companies. Local governments have split $208 million in payments from the industry over the past two years.

In recent weeks, one of the biggest topics regarding drilling has been the votes by the state House and Senate to enable companies to pool landowners' parcels into gas-drilling units as long as individual leases already in place don't prohibit it.

Opponents of the legislation say it would deprive some property owners of the opportunity to negotiate better deals with drillers.

As of Monday, Corbett hadn't indicated whether he would sign the bill.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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