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Public meeting on future drilling in Jefferson Hills

| Thursday, March 21, 2013, 10:36 p.m.

The EQT Corp. will hold a public meeting in Jefferson Hills on Wednesday to explain a seismic testing project to map potential areas for future drilling.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the municipal building, located at 925 Old Clairton Road.

EQT Corp. and sub-contractor Cougar Land Services are conducting 3-D seismic surveys in Jefferson Hills and communities throughout the region to gain more information about Marcellus shale, which is rich with natural gas, said Allen Cohen, borough planner and zoning officer. Representatives with the companies have been going door-to-door in the borough to receive landowner permission to conduct the testing on individual properties.

Testing at a particular site does not necessarily mean that drilling will take place there or nearby, Cohen said.

Likewise, Jefferson Hills officials do not endorse the testing, but rather want to provide the opportunity for EQT representatives to address residents' questions and concerns, Cohen said.

“We're just helping to facilitate the meeting,” he said.

Jefferson Hills is waiting for the Supreme Court decision on Act 13, a law that limits the regulation of oil and gas drilling on the municipal level, before moving forward with its own ordinance addressing Marcellus shale activities, Cohen said.

“We're in a holding pattern with the ordinance,” Cohen said.

Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at lvanwert@tribweb.com.

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