Municipal leaders gather in protest of state drilling regulation
By Timothy Puko, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW Wednesday, December 14, 2011
More than 100 people attended a meeting on Tuesday night designed to draw attention to pending legislation in Harrisburg that municipal officials say will undercut their rights to control gas drilling.
Officials from Peters, Cecil, South Fayette and several other communities led the meeting in Green Tree and said municipalities should have the right to determine their own character and what place the drilling industry has there.
"One-sized fits all ... is not an answer," Peters Councilman David M. Ball said. "It risks a very catastrophic damage to local planning efforts and the values and future planning efforts of our local communities."
The Senate and House are trying to merge bills each chamber passed last month to update drilling laws that cover everything from environmental rules to taxation.
The bills propose to allow drilling in all municipal zones -- even residential, though drilling would be prohibited within 300 feet of a house. Instead of retaining the power to put conditions on drilling, municipalities would be limited to applying the same rules to drill sites that they apply to other buildings in a zone.