Forest Hills, PA May Adopt Fracking Ban

Forest Hills, PA Council members are supporting a ban on Marcellus gas drilling within their borders. Forest Hills is a small borough in Allegheny County, PA with a population of 6,500. A petition with 275 signatures requesting a ban was delivered to Council members and apparently 4 percent of residents is close enough to a majority for Forest Hills elected representatives to take immediate action.

A movement to ban natural gas drilling in Forest Hills gained traction at council’s regular meeting Wednesday.

Council members spoke in favor of a ban on drilling for natural gas in the borough and voted unanimously to authorize the borough manager to advertise an ordinance, which could come to a vote as early as next month.

“Everybody’s definitely behind it,” Council President Frank Porco said after the meeting. “I think we owe it to the community and to future generations.”

One concern Porco raised was whether the ordinance would hold up in court if challenged. He said council will discuss adopting additional zoning ordinances that could make the ban more “fail-safe.”*

Something Forest Hills should plan for: Taxpayers will need to pay expensive legal fees to defend such a ban, and local businesses in Forest Hills may find business drying up when drilling companies, and those who support them, stop shopping in their borough.

*ForestHills-RegentSquarePatch (Sep 22, 2011) – Forest Hills Fracking Ban Moves Forward