Plum, PA Officials Hold Hearing on New Restrictions for Fracking

Nearly a month ago, local officials in Plum, PA (Allegheny County) approved a plan by Huntley & Huntley (H&H) to drill a series of Marcellus wells in their municipality (see Plum, PA Gives Huntley & Huntley Green Light for Shale Drilling). At that time, we told you about H&H plans to begin constructing a well pad in Plum in November (see Huntley & Huntley Starts Shale Drilling in Plum, PA Next Month). Plum’s leaders faced stiff opposition from some residents over their decision to conditionally approve H&H’s request. In Plum, fracking is allowed in any zone if a conditional use is granted. That’s what happened last month–the Plum Council issued a conditional use exception for H&H to drill on 92 acres near Coxcomb Hill Road in Plum. Fearing more requests will come from H&H, Plum officials have floated a proposed change to zoning ordinances (ordinances which haven’t been updated since 1993). The new change would only allow fracking in rural residential and industrial zones. H&H says the change is too restrictive. Some antis think it doesn’t go far enough. Last night Plum held a hearing about the proposed changes, with some 100 people showing up. According to press accounts, the crowd was about evenly split, for and against the proposed zoning changes. Here’s how it went down…

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