Proposed regulations target seismic testing in Monroeville
Monroeville is one step closer to regulating seismic testing, a procedure that often precedes the controversial gas and oil drilling method known as fracking.
Council at a meeting last week voted to place a draft of its seismic testing ordinance on 30-day public notice, a step needed before it can adopt the measure. A copy of the ordinance is available online at bit.ly/2wMT91K.
Under the proposed ordinance, companies are required to:
• Obtain a one-year permit for $1,000 and notify the municipality 30 days before any testing begins. The company must also put $5,000 in escrow to cover costs associated with granting a permit.
• Have a $500,000 performance bond guaranteeing completion of the work and a $2 million general liability insurance policy covering the municipality.
• Notify property owners within 150 feet of testing, 100 feet of vibrating tests and 300 feet of explosive charge tests 30 days before any work occurs.
Huntley & Huntley President Keith Mangini said he and the company’s legal counsel will review the ordinance before deciding on a next step. The Monroeville company is contracting to have seismic testing done in the region.
“If (the ordinance) is outside the state parameters, then we’re prepared to challenge it,” Mangini said.
Mangini at the meeting said that his company has no plans for fracking — a process of extracting gas and oil by injecting rock with high-pressure water, sand and chemicals — in Monroeville. The possibility of fracking after seismic testing was major concern brought up by residents during a recent Citizens’ Night meeting.
Resident Robert Serafini questioned Mangini about his plans for fracking.
“I don’t trust anyone with a maybe,” he said. “I have to know if you would be willing to write something, sign something.”
After a pause, Mangini replied: “I’ll consider it. We’ll talk about it.”