Jefferson Hills seismic testing must adhere to ordinance
Geokinetics USA Inc. can perform seismic testing in Jefferson Hills — but not on Sundays.
By a 6-0 vote on Monday, council denied the seismic data company's request for a waiver on its work time in the northern part of the borough.
That means testing can be done from 8 a.m. to sunset or 7 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to sunset or 7 p.m. on Saturdays, as specified in the borough's ordinance. Councilwoman Kathleen Reynolds was absent from the meeting.
Residents expressed concerns last week about Geokinetics' return to Jefferson Hills. The company provides seismic data services to the gas and oil industry, in this case EQT Corp. In 2013, Geokinetics tested in the Floreffe section of Jefferson Hills. This time, work will be in the northern part of the borough.
Geokinetics representatives are seeking residents' permission to conduct testing on their properties, which includes creating shot holes for charges to get readings. Vibrations would show whether drilling would be profitable.
Residents said they worried about a lengthened work week, and disruption of neighborhoods.
Anita Barkin, who helped to start a citizens group against drilling, asked council to protect the community from discord if some residents allowed drilling on their properties if natural gas is found.
“Residential building is loud enough,” said Christine Weir, who moved three years ago to a residential plan that still is undergoing construction.
Angelique Polakovic reminded council members that the borough was heavily mined, and she feared testing or drilling would have an added effect.
“We're obligated to accept a request, but not obligated to approve it,” James Weber, vice president of council, said about the proposed extension of hours.
Weber said he didn't want to set a precedent, so that other companies might have waivers approved.
“We can open a can of worms by approving” the waiver, Allen Cohen, the borough's planning/zoning officer, has said.
Geokinetics personnel have been canvassing neighborhoods, after getting council's permission to return to the borough. In 2013, no permitting process was in place. But with an ordinance approved in July, there is a more defined procedure.
Geokinetics obtained a permit, which lasts for a year. Before the company could begin canvassing, residents in the area had to be notified in writing and a legal ad had to be placed.
Cohen said officials looked at four or five ordinances from across the state, and took the best from each to develop a document for Jefferson Hills.
“Any developer can challenge the ordinance, and we'll defend it,” Cohen said. “We have an ordinance and comprehensive plan.”
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Baldwin Borough woman awarded $5K for damages to apartment
- Baldwin settles lawsuit for $7,500
- MRTSA staff able to train the ‘smart’ way with simulator
- Brentwood’s Noctis racing team makes final push for trip
- Baldwin Community Day to have something for everyone
- Overgrown trees leave Brentwood residents frustrated
- Checkpoints by South Hills DUI Task Force serve as deterent to driving impaired
- Brentwood teachers show unity during summer break
- Old Clairton Road work to start July 23
- Pleasant Hills family’s beach vacation takes tragic turn