Western PA Township Votes to Require Permits for Marcellus Shale Drilling

Crescent Township in Allegheny County, PA (in the Pittsburgh area), will now require all Marcellus Shale drilling companies to file for a permit before they can drill on any property in the Township.

The township’s Board of Commissioners last night passed an amendment to its zoning ordinances that requires drilling companies to receive a permit from the township for gas drilling or exploration. Companies must also pay a fee when applying for the permit.

The ordinance is meant to address potential Marcellus shale drilling activity in the township. At its February meeting, the board voted to advertise the zoning change to the public.

“This establishes a permit fee no different than if you were building a deck or building a house,” said board Chairman Bill Keller. “Companies will have to get a permit to do this here.”*

No word yet on whether or not the Township has the legal right to impose an additional permit requirement since the state DEP already performs that role. MDN will keep an eye out for whether/if the Township is taken to court to have the new requirement challenged.

*Moon, PA Patch (Apr 20, 2011) – Crescent Township to Require Permits for Marcellus Shale Drilling