Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

PROTESTERS ASK COUNTY TO BAR GAS DRILLING UNDER PARKS [Corrected 08/ 31/13]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

PROTESTERS ASK COUNTY TO BAR GAS DRILLING UNDER PARKS [Corrected 08/ 31/13]

Article excerpt

They promised they would come, and they did.

Dozens of protesters with pamphlets to spare packed Allegheny County Council's meeting Tuesday night, speaking against the push to drill for natural gas beneath county parks -- a plan that they say betrays the county's commitment to preserve parkland for perpetuity.

While drilling beneath Deer Lakes Park is still far off -- Marcellus Shale wasn't on Tuesday night's rather light meeting agenda-- the protesters said they would rather speak their mind now than wait for the deal to be signed.

"The parks are not to be bought and sold as commodities for profit," said Carrie White, who lives near the park. "Let's look at the ramifications of what's proposed, and who will be held accountable."

It was a raucous crowd by council standards, which usually tends more to golf-clap applause than the hearty whoops of support heard Tuesday night. More than 50 people signed up to speak during the 31/ 2-hour meeting, though fewer followed through.

Many speakers left reams of paper for council members to read, referencing a dizzying array of scientific studies and journal articles. That was fine by Heather Heidelbaugh, R-Mt. Lebanon, one of the few council members to directly engage the speakers.

"I need more scientific information, not your feelings about how it's going to hurt your experience at the park," she said. "I am listening and I will read everything you send me."

But time might not be on the protesters' side. By the end of the month, the county hopes to release a request for proposals to drill beneath Deer Lakes Park, whose 1,180 acres straddle Frazer and West Deer.

The deal is likely to go to energy giant Range Resources, which has leased most of the surrounding land and has already secured permits for three drilling sites near the park's borders.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says he would like to begin drilling within four to six months, though he made it clear Range isn't rushing him. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.