County council nears tipping point on Deer Lakes Park drilling
Allegheny County Council appears to have more than half the votes needed to permit drilling for natural gas under Deer Lakes Park.
Six council members, including President John DeFazio, D-Shaler, and Vice President Nick Futules, D-Oakmont, told the Tribune-Review on Thursday that they will vote yes or are leaning toward voting yes. Three members said they intend to vote no or are considering voting no.
At least eight council members must approve the proposal for it to pass. Council members will vote at their meeting on Tuesday on a proposal to allow Range Resources and Huntley & Huntley to drill under the park from well pads outside the park's boundary.
DeFazio felt there were at least eight “yes” votes on the 15-member council but stopped short of predicting approval.
“You can't count your chickens before they hatch on this stuff,” he said.
Council members Michael Finnerty of Scott, Charles Martoni of Swissvale and Bob Macey of West Mifflin, all Democrats, said they will vote yes. Councilman Tom Baker, R-Ross, said he is considering voting yes.
Councilwoman Barbara Daly Danko, D-Regent Square, said she will vote no. Councilwoman Jan Rea, R-McCandless, said she is considering voting no. Both believe drilling should not be allowed under park land. Councilman Bill Robinson, D-Hill District, said he would be reluctant to vote for the proposal as is and intends to introduce an amendment at the meeting.
Councilwoman Sue Means, R-Bethel Park, held an informational meeting on Thursday in which professors, lawyers and other professionals presented information on the risks of natural gas drilling. She and several other members remain undecided.
John F. Stolz, a professor and director of the Center for Environmental Research at Duquesne University, said his studies have found ground and surface water contamination potentially related to shale drilling. John Smith, a Canonsburg attorney who successfully challenged Act 13, the state's drilling law, told council they will not know the risk to the park in West Deer and Frazer until they know all the chemicals that will be used and the locations of all well pads.
Councilwoman Amanda Green-Hawkins, D-Stanton Heights, said she will abstain because her husband has business interests in companies involved in the deal.
Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7986 or email@example.com.
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.
- Mt. Washington landslide stable — for now
- Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh reaches out to addicts
- Overnight lane closures planned for Rt. 28 in O’Hara
- Newsmaker: The Rev. Regina Ragin Dykes
- Unprepared law firms vulnerable to hackers
- Liberty Tunnel traffic reduced to one lane inbound Monday night
- Latest flu vaccines offer protection from 4 influenza strains instead of traditional 3
- Manufacturing, social aid pitch earns $25K prize in East Liberty contest
- Families receive POW updates at Green Tree meeting
- Artist who painted Wilkinsburg house raises funds for ‘gentle demolition’
- Meadville water project on schedule, below budget