TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Natural gas drilling concerns aired in Findlay meeting

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Bobby Kerlik
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, 11:36 p.m.
 

More than 150 residents packed a Findlay meeting Thursday night with many demanding that the township force Consol Energy Inc. to move at least one natural gas drilling pad at Pittsburgh International Airport farther away from their neighborhood.

“Use what's in the Findlay code to request an additional setback from our neighborhood,” Stacy Faulk, 44, urged supervisors. “We want to ensure the long-term health of our families. ... The additional setback, that's our insurance policy.”

Consol is seeking permits from Findlay as part of its plan to put six natural gas drilling pads on airport land. Township supervisors listened to several speakers and asked questions of company officials.

“The white elephant in the room is what happened in Greene County. How would you deal with that?” Findlay chairman Tom Gallant asked.

“We see the Greene County event as a very isolated event,” said Craig Hunter, Consol safety supervisor.

Hunter said the airport's fire department would be the first responders and that Consol is working with the department on how to respond.

Supervisors did not vote on the permit request.

Officials have to determine whether the proposal meets the township ordinance, which largely reflects state law but takes into account the protection of the “health, safety and welfare” of residents.

Residents voiced concerns about air pollution from drilling pads, particularly pad No. 2, and safety concerns in light of the Chevron gas well explosion in Greene County on Feb. 11. Pad No. 2 is the closest pad to a neighborhood — Imperial Pointe — at 1,180 feet. Residents want it at least a half mile from their homes, which would be 2,640 feet. State law requires a 500-foot setback.

Joe Zoka, general manager for Consol's central Pennsylvania operations, said the company has made concessions including switching from diesel-powered rigs to electric-powered rigs to reduce noise and pollution. He said the company did a review of all possible locations and said pad No. 2's location was selected for a variety of reasons, including the land topography.

Allegheny County officials hope to raise about $500 million through the agreement with Consol.

Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 .

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Allegheny

  1. Roman Catholic Church in midst of culture clash over gays
  2. 2 killed in single-vehicle crash in Pittsburgh
  3. East Liberty man arrested in connection with Larimer shooting
  4. Author of Americans with Disabilities Act celebrates its effects in Carnegie
  5. Snake bites on the rise in Western Pa.
  6. Pittsburgh police motorcycle officer seriously injured in crash
  7. Western Pa. prosecutors zero in on human trafficking; legislation pending
  8. Peduto pushes for affordable housing in East Liberty redevelopment
  9. 2 men wounded in Hill District drive-by shooting
  10. Newsmaker: Mark Rubenstein
  11. School credit ratings a problem for several in Western Pennsylvania