NE PA Town Votes to Prohibit Drilling, Approve Wind Farms

Officials in Spring Brook Township (Lackawanna County), PA voted last night to prohibit shale gas drilling in half of the township while at the same time they approved designated areas for commercial wind farms. Those same officials acknowledged their vote to ban gas drilling may be meaningless under the newly passed Marcellus drilling state law about to be signed by Gov. Corbett, but they went ahead and voted anyway, having worked a year-and-a-half on the new zoning changes.

"We don’t even believe there is any gas here," Supervisor Joe Zurcher said, but lawmakers wanted rules in place to "protect the residents of the township" and to mitigate potential impact on local roads just in case.

Under the change, about half the township is off-limits to gas drilling, while in the other half gas drillers would be subjected to restrictions on noise and lighting and regulations governing which roads could be used to access wells, township consultant Mary Liz Donato said.

"We’re disappointed if (ultimately) we have no control," Supervisor Chairman Jack Flyte said.*

*The Scranton Times Tribune (Feb 10, 2012) – Spring Brook lawmakers pass rules to prohibit gas drilling

  • Anonymous

    Uhh Yea, this isn’t gonna fly. Why does this guy believe there is no gas there? A hunch? If there is gas there and the price is high they (insert gas company) have the right to it if they have bought the lease. Also would be very hard for the greenest greenie to turn down money if he had much land with gas underneath it and he/she owned the mineral rights. Met a fine fellow just a few days ago in Forest City, PA while getting my oil changed. He was a bit of a green guy until The big oil company offered him and his buddies 2.3 million dollars plus royalties to drill their hunting club. Whether most like it or not local government doesn’t have a dog in the fight. Maybe the ability to postpone drilling, but that is just gonna make the final dollar figure lower for those landowners.