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Oakmont expects to adopt law in January regulating oil and gas development

Michael DiVittorio
| Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, 9:45 a.m.
Oakmont borough building
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
Oakmont borough building

Oakmont officials have moved one step closer to regulating oil and gas well development in the borough.

A proposed ordinance is being advertised for public review and comment as required before it can be adopted. Adoption is expected in January.

The ordinance will allow gas and oil well development — including processing plants and compressor stations — as a conditional use in the borough, which means a developer has to meet several requirements before a permit allowing construction is granted. Some restrictions in the ordinance include:

• No construction from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

• Temporary safety and security fencing at least 6 feet high must be installed around the site.

• At least one security guard is required when a drilling rig or hydraulic fracturing equipment is at the well site.

• Each conditional use application must have a site plan.

Council President Thomas Briney likened the proposed law to a “belt and suspenders,” giving Oakmont more control on where wells can be built and operated.

“This is a big step forward for us,” he said. “We have amplified our land use restrictions.”

Borough solicitor Megan Turnbull said the ordinance could be amended again before adoption following review by the planning commission.

A copy of the proposed ordinance is available for viewing at the borough building, 767 Fifth St.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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