North Huntingdon ordinance could regulate seismic testing
Residents in the southwestern portion of North Huntingdon might receive requests for permission for people to get on their property in order for a land company to complete seismic testing.
The tests are necessary for natural-gas companies to determine the best locations to drill. Commissioners are considering an ordinance to regulate seismic testing in the township.
“If they put a charge in the ground, we want to limit how much,” said Mike Turley, assistant township manager.
The ordinance — which was scheduled for a vote yesterday, Wednesday — would require any land-surveying company to obtain a permit from the township before they could use explosives, weight drops, thumper trucks or any vibrating machines.
“They put a small charge in the ground,” Turley said. “It sounds like a muffled gunshot.”
Seismic testing uses underground sound waves to map hydrocarbon areas that could be suitable for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale formation. The data is sold to drilling companies to determine the best places to drill for gas.
The charge travels about 150 feet from the action source, Turley said. The proposed ordinance that township commissioners have been considering would set a buffer zone of 300 feet from any building.
Any resident within 300 feet of the action source would have to be notified in writing, Turley said. The land company also would have to obtain written permission from a homeowner to be on the property for testing, he said.
Turley said the survey company seems to be interested in areas south of Route 30 and near Braddocks Trail in North Huntingdon. Residents living in the 3rd and 4th wards might be approached by the company for permission to get on property for testing.
Testing would be restricted to 8 a.m. to the earlier of sunset or 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to the earlier of sunset or 7 p.m. Saturdays. After the ordinance is passed, a land survey company could apply to the township for a permit, which is valid for one year.
Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
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.