New Castle News

November 16, 2013

Full story from Pulaski is not being explained

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

Reporter Mary Grzebieniak should have spent more time vetting her article, “Officials: Few options with drilling permits.”

Admittedly, Pulaski Township supervisors are under extreme pressure to approve conditional use permits for oil/gas. However, solicitor Richard Harper’s statement that “supervisors cannot turn down applications for conditional use permits for any but zoning-related issues,” is incorrect.

Act 13 included a pre-emption clause which prevented local governments from banning fracking. Soon after, Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court ruled Act 13 to be unconstitutional placing an injunction on that clause.

Grzebieniak did not attend the hearing in which I objected to the permit for a fifth well at the Whiting pad. Contrary to her article, I focused on water contamination, not Suzanne Matteo. I provided copies of an ongoing investigation by the Department of Environmental Protection for three households near the Whiting pad. For the health and safety of Pulaski residents, I requested the supervisors refrain from approving a fifth well until the DEP issues a determination letter.

Matteo’s testimony focused on the failure of the township to hold a public hearing for Whiting wells 3H and 4H. Matteo made several requests for documentation of a public hearing, but her appeals have been ignored.

The written decision issued by Pulaski states that Matteo’s testimony was discredited, but is done on the supervisors say so alone. My testimony was stricken from the record, but according to their own municipal planning code, there is no residency requirement to speak there.

Grzebieniak’s statements were based solely on the written decision as it repeats the same inaccuracies. Any story associated with Pulaski Township should be thoroughly researched. The Pulaski Township supervisors, who are public trustees elected to represent the people and protect the health and well-being of their community, have repeatedly abused their positions of power.

Carrie Hahn

Indian Run Road