Archive

ShareThis Page
Murrysville’s proposed rules may lack the wells to regulate | TribLIVE.com
News

Murrysville’s proposed rules may lack the wells to regulate

Murrysville could have an ordinance regulating Marcellus shale drilling on the books by the end of January — but no one to enforce it on.

Despite inquiries to local officials earlier this year, officials at Range Resources said last week that the municipality is not part of the drilling company’s current two-year plan.

“We have drilling plans for about two years in advance right now, and we do have some leases out there (in Murrysville), but they’re not in those plans,” said Matt Pitzarella, spokesman for Range Resources, a Canonsburg-based oil and gas drilling company that has about 300 Marcellus shale drilling wells across Pennsylvania. “Nothing is going to happen out there anytime soon.”

Range Resources told council in April it planned to build two to 10 gas wells on property near Logan Ferry and Saltsburg Roads. The next month, Murrysville officials formed a task force to begin work on an oil and gas drilling ordinance. However, Range Resources never completed its application to drill, said Jim Morrison, chief administrator.

The task force recommended a 23-page ordinance in September that would restrict drilling to three regions of the municipality and regulate sound, traffic and other aspects of drilling. Last week, the planning commission recommended the ordinance to council, asking members to review the noise regulations more closely.

The proposal calls for drilling noise not to exceed the ambient level by more than 5 decibels during the day and 3 decibels between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.

During the fracking process — when drillers blast rock with chemically treated water — those numbers normally increase to 10 decibels during the day and 5 decibels at night. Pitzarella said his company has used sound barriers to keep noise within municipal limits.

“Members of the planning commission really (aren’t) well-enough educated in noise to further make any changes in the ordinance,” said Jayne Hoy, a planning commission member. “We think the task force should take another look at the noise section of the ordinance.”

Last week, council scheduled a public hearing on the ordinance for Wednesday. The hearing, which will take place before the council meeting, will be broadcast on cable Channel 19.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer with the Murrysville Star.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.