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Community meeting set in Oakmont to discuss proposed oil and gas well ordinance

Michael DiVittorio
| Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018, 5:24 p.m.

A community meeting to discuss a proposed oil and gas well ordinance is set for Wednesday at the Oakmont Elks Club.

It’s slated for 7 p.m. at 106 Washington Ave. and presented by Citizens to Protect Oakmont and Food & Water Watch.

The former is a group of concerned residents dedicated to preserving the health and safety of the community. The latter is a national organization that advocates on behalf of residents in regards to clean food and water.

Megan McDonough, municipal ordinance project organizer with Food & Water, said the goal of the meeting is to educate residents on the proposed borough law in preparation for council’s public hearing and possible vote 7 p.m. Oct. 9 at the borough building, 767 Fifth St.

She said the three areas of concern are the 500-foot state minimum setback regulation, the exemption of borough property and lack of definition and regulations for other oil and gas infrastructure such as compressor stations.

Some residents at previous council meetings said they would like to see a 2,000-foot setback restriction.

“Residents want Oakmont council to pass an ordinance that they believe adequately protects the residents for generations to come,” said McDonough of Elizabeth Township. “If the ordinance passed, as it stands, we don’t believe that ordinance at this time meets those goals.”

Council voted in December to adopt a pending ordinance and sent it to the planning commission for review.

The commission has since sent a draft back to the borough for consideration. It was posted to the borough’s website and submitted to Allegheny County Economic Development Planning Manager Kay Pierce for further comments.

Oakmont is 1.8 square miles of mostly densely-populated residential areas. Its industrial area is near the Allegheny River and light industrial is by Creek Side Park.

The planning commission’s ordinance revisions is available at bit.ly/2wc1cY6.

More information about Food & Water Watch is available at foodandwaterwatch.org.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, mdivittorio@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

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