Monroeville puts limits on fracking
Monroeville council has approved an ordinance that limits Marcellus shale drilling to heavy industrial zones.
The ordinance was spurred by residents’ concerns that seismic testing planned by a Monroeville oil and gas exploration company would lead to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the area.
Resident and founder of the anti-fracking Sustainable Monroeville advocacy group, Elisa Beck, called the vote a step in the right direction.
“We’re all paying attention to make sure we’re protected to maintain fresh and clean water,” she said.
Huntley and Huntley, the company having seismic testing done throughout the region, has said it has no plans for gas wells in Monroeville.
But resident David Mintz, who has expressed support for the zoning amendment, remains uneasy about the possibility of fracking.
“There’s a lot of residents who live near the industrial area,” he said during a recent council meeting.
Mintz also asked whether the municipality could ban fracking.
“We have to allow that activity take place somewhere,” Solicitor Robert Wratcher said. “The trick is in trying to minimize it … we can’t just have a blanket prohibition.”