PA County Drafts Local Ordinance for Marcellus Gas Drilling

Supervisors in Upper Burrell Township (Westmoreland County), PA are working on a package of local ordinances that affect Marcellus shale drilling in the township.

As proposed, the ordinance allows Marcellus wells as a special exception in residential/agricultural zones and as a permitted use in industrial zones.

The proposal addresses road maintenance, noise control, operating hours, emergency response, fencing and providing details of the well operation to the township.*

Township Manager Amy Rockwell said:

[D]rilling was proposed as a special exception in the RA zone because it would still give property owners throughout the township the ability to lease their mineral rights through horizontal, non-surface drilling. If drilling is limited only to industrial zones, she said, the township may be prohibiting them from full use of their land.*

*Valley News Dispatch (Feb 8, 2011) – Marcellus drilling rules still in works in Upper Burrell