Westmoreland County, PA Supervisors Vote to Approve Drilling on County Land

On Thursday, March 12, the board of supervisors for Westmoreland County (Pennsylvania) voted to let drilling commence on an area of county-owned land. According to the Valley News Dispatch:

The board approved five natural gas wells to be drilled on Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County property near the Beaver Run Reservoir.

James McKinstry of Dominion Exploration detailed plans for the wells to be drilled into the Marcellus Shale in an area bordered by Fox Road, Walker Road and Route 286.

Resident John Doyle asked if drinking water in the reservoir will be protected, particularly from material such as disposable brine. McKinstry said waste, such as brine, will be trucked away. There is a site in Indiana County that accepts brine.

McKinstry added that the state Department of Environmental Protection regulations must be followed.

Supervisors unanimously granted the request, attaching conditions such as submitting a plot plan, posting 24-hour emergency numbers and keeping roads passable at all times.

Dominion feels the wells can be built in about seven or eight months once approval is granted.

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