July 19 Meeting to Address Natural Gas Ordinance
By J.R. Brower
After drawing up some revisions for their proposed oil and gas development ordinance, the Nottingham Township Board of Supervisors announced at their June 21 meeting that they are now prepared for a public hearing with intent to adopt the ordinance.
The public hearing was scheduled for Monday, July 19 at 7:00 p.m. as part of their regular bimonthly meeting.
The original draft of the proposed ordinance was written by Solicitor James Liekar in April based upon Cecil Township’s gas ordinance. Additions were made upon recommendation of the supervisors after looking at Peters Township’s proposed ordinance. The board felt that the time was right to get an ordinance in place as they recently signed with Range Resources to lease 39 acres of township property for $2,000 per acre that will allow the company to drill horizontally for Marcellus Shale gas from an adjacent property. Also recently, Chesapeake Energy began initial preparation work to drill the first Marcellus well in the township on the Harbison property off Cooper Road.
The proposed ordinance will allow natural gas well development in all zoning districts in Nottingham Township but will restrict drilling to plots 10 acres or larger. Highlights of the proposed ordinance include the following:
These are just some highlights of the proposed ordinance. The July 19 public hearing will be advertised at least seven days prior to the event, and residents are encouraged to attend and give their input.
- The operator will apply for a township permit 30 days prior to initial development activities and pay a required fee.
- Information requested will include a copy of the well location plat and drilling permit submitted to the DEP; a description of the planned operation and equipment to be used to drill the well; a copy of lease or agreement from the property owner where drill site is located; a map showing public road access routes to the well site and information on road bonding; an erosion and sedimentation plan; planned hours of construction activities; method of compliance with noise control activities; and a plan to control spill, leak or malfunction and to remove waste material from any property affected by the malfunction.
- The operator will attend a public meeting 30 days prior in initial development activities to present general information about plans for development in the township. The operator will not have to appear more than annually unless additional well sites are proposed.
- The operator will comply with applicable bonding and permitting for township roads that are to be used by overweight vehicles and equipment for development activities and take steps to ensure that roads are kept free of dirt, mud and debris.
- Access road to the drill site will be gated, and 6 feet high fencing will be required around drilling and hydraulic fracturing equipment as well as around any pits that contain water or other liquids.
- The operator will provide the township’s first responders through its Emergency Management Coordinator a copy of its Preparedness, Prevention and Contingency Plan. The operator will provide a site orientation for first responders and provide adequate awareness information to prepare for emergencies at least annually.
- The operator must meet certain lighting and sound level specifications.
- Warning signs providing notice of potential dangers must be posted at well sites, and a security guard must be on site 24 hours per day when fracturing equipment is on site.
- Operators must notify each resident where horizontal drilling will take place under their property at lease two weeks in advance of drilling.
Last Updated on Friday, 02 July 2010 00:37