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Officials: No geological testing is set for Murrysville

| Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Although some Murrysville residents might have received letters about geological testing from a Texas-based geophysics company, local officials say seismic testing hasn't been scheduled to take place in Murrysville.

Municipal officials said Ion GX Technology and Cougar Land Services — two Texas-based companies making the rounds in Westmoreland County — have not submitted permit requests for any seismic testing within municipal limits.

“To this point, there is no proposal or agreement on seismic testing,” Council President Joan Kearns said.

Last week, while trying to persuade Export Council to allow his company to place sensors along borough roads, Ion representative Ray Wall told council, “We're negotiating with Murrysville. They're very willing to work with us.”

That's not accurate, Murrysville chief administrator Jim Morrison said.

Morrison said he has met with Ion representatives once to share the seismic testing ordinance the municipality developed in 2011. Like any other work completed in the municipality, seismic testing requires the issuance of a permit.

But private property isn't the only land that might be mapped in Murrysville, Kearns said. The municipality has received unofficial, verbal inquiries about conducting seismic testing in Murrysville Community Park.

Earlier this year, officials with Monroeville-based drillers Huntley & Huntley said the company would like to lease the gas rights — which are owned by the municipality — under the 305-acre park.

Kearns said no testing will be done in the municipality before a company submits a permit application to officials. “All of that has to come before council and has to be a decision of the body,” Kearns said. “To this point, there is no proposal or agreement on seismic testing on any municipal roads or property.”

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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