25 turn out to oppose proposed drilling under Deer Lakes Park
Wearing a cardboard sign reading “We Can't Drink $” around her neck, Valeri Jackson told Allegheny County Council members that once water is poisoned, that's it.
“We don't need it,” Jackson, 48, of Stowe told council regarding a proposal to drill for natural gas under Deer Lakes Park in West Deer and Frazer. “The risks are way too great for whatever so-called benefits there are.”
Jackson was one of about 25 residents who signed up to speak on Tuesday to County Council against allowing energy companies Range Resources and Huntley & Huntley to drill under the park. Council will vote on allowing the lease negotiated by the county.
“County residents are against this,” said Aaron Booz, 35, of Whitehall.
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced on Monday that the county and the energy companies had reached a proposed agreement on drilling. During his quarterly address on Tuesday, Fitzgerald, a Squirrel Hill Democrat, asked council President John DeFazio if he could bring the proposal to council after his address. DeFazio, D-Shaler, told Fitzgerald it was too late to add the proposal to the agenda and asked him to bring it to council for its first April meeting.
Under the terms of the lease, which Fitzgerald said is not finished, the county would receive $4.7 million upfront plus a $3 million donation to a Parks Improvement Fund and 18 percent royalties throughout the life of the lease. Fitzgerald estimated royalties would amount to about $3 million a year for about 20 years.
The companies agreed to enhanced environmental and safety considerations if the county approves drilling.
Fitzgerald hopes to have a copy of the lease agreement to council in about a week.
“We're lucky to partner with a good quality partner like Range,” Fitzgerald told council during his quarterly address, a statement that elicited laughs and jeers from a crowded chamber of residents opposed to the deal. “If we really care about the environment, we should be part of this.”
Carrie White, 50, of Fawn lives near Deer Lakes Park. She said the money the county would receive would not remedy possible damage from drilling.
“You're not going to be able to fix the problem once it happens,” she said.
Fitzgerald has scheduled a public hearing on drilling under Deer Lakes Park for 7 p.m. April 2 at Deer Lakes High School.
County Council could schedule additional public hearings once it takes up the matter.
Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7986 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.
- Kennywood fanatic, 82, rides Jack Rabbit 95 times in a row
- Early success in White House race a pleasant surprise for Carson
- Neighbor arrested after McKeesport house fire, authorities say
- Memorial Day service in National Cemetery of the Alleghenies still growing
- 4 dogs found dead in Beechview home; woman charged
- Journalist Burzynski found place in public relations, military
- Newsmaker: Rich Jones
- Thrill of the chase: Kennywood fanatic, 82, rides Jack Rabbit 95 times in a row
- Pa. gaming industry’s growth amplifies siren call for addicts
- Feds want to seize cash, property from suspects in drug bust
- Man shot while driving through Liberty Tunnel