Pa. township approves permits for airport drilling

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IMPERIAL – Supervisors in a Western Pennsylvania township approved permits for a company to drill for natural gas at Pittsburgh International Airport with almost two dozen conditions.


Findley Township supervisors voted 2-1 to approve the conditional use permits but included noise and light disturbance limits, requirements for flaggers and safety vehicles at entrances to the site, a ban on injection wells and other caveats.


A proposal to require one well pad to be moved further away from a residential development was rejected.


The current plan calls for 47 Marcellus Shale wells to be drilled from six well pads on the surface. The Marcellus is a gas-rich formation thousands of feet underground.


Consol Energy Inc. hopes to start drilling this year. Allegheny county officials say the deal could generate more than $500 million in royalties over the next few decades, and they’ve already received a $50 million signing bonus. The county and the Federal Aviation Administration had previously approved the plan.


After the vote, company president Nick DeIuliis vowed that the project would be a model of safe and responsible natural gas development.


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