ShareThis Page

Monroeville residents suspicious of proposed fracking ordinance

Dillon Carr
| Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, 2:48 p.m.
An Apex Energy drilling-rig operation
Christian Tyler Randolph | Tribune-Review
An Apex Energy drilling-rig operation

Residents are complaining about Monroeville's proposed oil and gas ordinance because they say its has been developed to accommodate companies that want to develop fracking wells in the municipality.

The concern centers on changes in the ordinance that would allow drilling in a 150-acre special conservancy zone that includes a landfill, instead of in heavy industrial areas where it is now permitted.

The landfill is owned by Waste Management, which has a lease agreement at the property with oil and gas exploration company Huntley & Huntley of Monroeville.

Resident Tom Henningsen during a recent council work session said Huntley & Huntley would benefit if wells are allowed in the conservancy zone.

“I can't escape the conclusion that has something to do with why it's appearing in the current ordinance,” he said about the lease agreement.

Monroeville solicitor Bob Wratcher dismissed the suggestion that the interests of oil and gas developers were considered when he was drafting the ordinance. He said the site was chosen because drilling would have less of an impact there and that the industrial areas might be too small for wells. He added that determining who had oil and gas leases in the municipality was not part of his research when drafting the ordinance.

A Huntley & Huntley official said his company years ago signed oil and gas leases at several Waste Management landfill sites in the region, but that doesn't mean they would drill at all of them.

“Natural gas wells will not be possible on all of Waste Management's landfill properties in the region,” Huntley & Huntley Vice President Paul Burke said in an email, adding that the company has no plans to drill at the Monroeville landfill. He also said there have not been well pads built on any of the Waste Management sites under the oil and gas leases acquired a few years ago.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2325, or via Twitter @dillonswriting.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me