Robinson supervisors to vote on application for new Marcellus Shale tank pad

July 10, 2014

Robinson Township supervisors will soon vote on a conditional use application for a Marcellus Shale tank pad that would be used to store freshwater.

But before that happens, residents will have the opportunity to comment on the tank pad application – submitted by natural gas drilling company Range Resources – during a public hearing 6 p.m. July 21 at the municipal building.

If approved, the water storage facility would be constructed on vacant property owned by Imperial Land Corp. east of Quicksilver Road. Truck traffic would be confined to state roads, and trucks would travel to the site from Route 22/30, Route 980 and Quicksilver Road.

Range’s application states the company plans to install a meter vault and purchase water from Pennsylvania-American Water Co. to limit the amount of water being transported to the site. “However, due to the size of the proposed frac jobs, water will need to be trucked in,” according to Range.

The facility would service the Kresic well in Smith Township and the Parees and Kendall wells in Robinson Township.

Range spokesman Matt Pitzarella said the company is using tank pads in addition to centralized impoundments.

“There are more options for water management today than there were five or six years ago, but the industry has always utilized a combination of impoundments, tanks and other mobile storage and treatment solutions,” Pitzarella said in an email. “In time, those technologies will continue to evolve.”

The application for the tank pad was originally submitted to Robinson Township Jan. 7, 2013. Supervisors erred in delaying to vote on that application and others, Washington County Judge John DiSalle ruled in May after Range sued the township.

Supervisors approved a settlement proposal from Range last month agreeing not to appeal that ruling and to allow Range to move forward with the development of the Parees and Kendall well sites.

DiSalle gave the township time to continue its review of the Imperial tank pad application “in good faith and in accordance with the law,” since it was filed just three weeks before Range’s lawsuit.

Emily Petsko joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in June 2013. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor's degree in journalism and global cultural studies.

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