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Forward Township supervisors approve ordinances regulating gas well-related projects

Forward Township has three new ordinances for regulating gas exploration and pipeline projects.

Supervisors on Monday unanimously approved rules and procedures that companies must follow when drilling wells, conducting geological tests and laying pipe to transport gas and other chemicals.

They also placed restrictions on the use of jake brakes on local roads.

The legislation is in response to a number of energy-related projects currently under way.

EQT Resources is drilling what could be as many as 60 wells, and Sunoco Oil is preparing to lay a low-pressure liquid-gas transmission line across as many as 275 properties this summer.

EQT is at work on a 52-square-mile three-dimensional map of gas deposits in the township and surrounding communities that involves using underground charges set every 220 feet to create seismic waves.

Sunoco is building a pipeline that stretches from a processing plant in Houston, Washington County, and through the township to a distribution point in Delmont, Westmoreland County.

Board of supervisors chairman Tom DeRosa said the ordinances will help the township keep better tabs on such projects. He said pipelines in the past have been laid in the township without municipal authorities being notified.

Solicitor Matt Racunas said existing lines will not be subject to the new ordinance.

In other business, the township formally welcomed police Chief Mark Holtzman, who was hired in January to fill a position that had been vacant since 2009.

Holtzman said he is glad to be working in the township and told residents he has a public open-door policy.

Supervisors hired Robert L. Sciulli as a part-time police officer. He also works part-time for Elizabeth, McKees Rocks and Stowe Township.

Supervisors donated $320 to the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars in support of the Memorial Day parade and ceremony in Elizabeth on May 27 at 9:30 a.m.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or [email protected].


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