Nearly two dozen borough residents commented at Wednesday night’s council meeting before officials voted 4-2 against awarding PennEnergy Resources a five-year lease to extract shale gas from the park.
Many of the residents who spoke for or against the proposal reiterated comments made during a previous public meeting, including a special session held on Monday in which borough officials outlined the proposal.
More than 250 people, including residents and organized anti-fracking activists, packed into the
The proposed agreement with PennEnergy called for an upfront payment to the borough of $283,500 plus an a 18-percent royalty on the value of any gas that is extracted in exchange for allowing gas to be extracted from below the 81-acre park.
PennEnergy already has agreements with 70 private property owners surrounding and near
The company plans to place the well head and surface drilling operations about 3/4 a mile away in Economy, Beaver County. To get the gas out of the ground, crews will bore down between 5,000 and 9,000 feet and then send 18 lateral lines out about 10,000 feet into the shale rock and use a process called hydraulic fracturing to send it to the well head.
The company says it has the technology to bypass the gas in
The lease — and
Many of the comments from people against the proposed lease expressed a general contempt for fracking because they believe it is a risk to health and the environment. Some cited the possibility that allowing fracking in the park would create a negative image for the borough.
Supporters of the lease, though significantly fewer in number, noted that since gas is already going to be extracted from around the park, it makes no financial sense for the borough to simply skip getting its share of the revenue to pay for improvements and other expenses.
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