Middlesex amends zoning for Marcellus shale drilling

| Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 9:30 p.m.

Middlesex supervisors Wednesday night amended the township's zoning ordinances to allow Marcellus shale drilling in some residential and agricultural areas of the township.

The zoning changes, approved by supervisors Michael Spreng, Donald P. Marshall and James Evans, allow drilling in rural residential, agricultural, residential agricultural and restricted industrial areas. The ordinance will allow conditional use in several areas, including highway commercial and regional commercial.

The ordinance prohibits a natural gas processing plant from most of the township, except for regional commercial and restricted industrial areas, and allows conditional use of a natural gas compressor station in rural residential and agricultural areas.

Township officials said 77 percent of land in the township has drilling leases attached to it. More than 80 people attended the meeting, with many residents urging supervisors to delay their decision to allow further discussion about the zoning changes.

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