Pittsburgh Suburb Moves to Regulate Seismic Testing by H&H

One of the first steps before a company decides to drill for shale gas (or oil), is to conduct a seismic survey–bouncing sound waves through the rock layers a mile or more down–to “see” what the geology looks like. It helps drillers target locations with the best possibility of success, which is a good thing for everyone (no unnecessary “misses” when drilling a well). One of objectives of the original Act 13 law passed in PA in 2012 was to provide uniform zoning ordinances for the oil and gas industry, so drillers don’t have to work with a crazy quilt patchwork of zoning requirements in every new town in which they drill. That failed when seven selfish towns filed a lawsuit that ultimately went to the PA Supreme Court, where the towns won the right to pass their own zoning regulations for oil and gas drilling (see PA Supreme Court Rules Against State/Drillers in Act 13 Case). So now drillers have to face different standards/restrictions/rules in every town where they drill. Thank you seven selfish towns! Huntley and Huntley is one of those drillers. In May MDN told you that H&H is conducting seismic surveys in Westmoreland County (see Huntley & Huntley Targets New Drilling in Westmoreland County, PA). H&H now wants to conduct seismic surveys in neighboring Allegheny County, in the Borough of Oakmont (suburb close to Pittsburgh, northeast side of the city). Because of H&H’s interest, Oakmont has (surprise!) proposed a new seismic survey ordinance. We have a copy of the 9-page ordinance below. Oakmont will hold a special meeting on July 3rd to discuss it…

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