New Castle News

December 5, 2012

Pulaski holds hearing with no real meaning

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

On Nov. 8, I, along with a number of other residents of Pulaski Township, attended a Pulaski Township supervisors “hearing” to help them “decide” whether or not to issue permits to Hilcorp to drill two more horizontal wells in our beautiful countryside community.

The trustees heard the testimony of two opponents of fracking, one of whom argued that Hilcorp violated a law that states that such companies must notify the EPA of any well contamination within 24 hours of the contamination’s being reported.

There was such a report near a Hilcorp well site at Route 551 and Garner Road in Pulaski Township on May 28, 2012. Hilcorp did not report the incident to the EPA until June 1.

In the meantime, on May 30, the company was granted by the township trustees other permits to drill in the township and to establish a compressor station.

An attorney for Hilcorp objected to the evidence on grounds that it was “irrelevant.” The solicitor allowed the woman presenting the evidence to continue, but said that he and the supervisors would take the objection under advisement. After the two presented evidence and a third person asked permission to refute a statement made by the attorney, the board went into executive session.

When they returned, they voted to grant Hilcorp the permits for two more horizontal wells. When several in attendance voiced opposition, the solicitor claimed that the trustees have no rights or powers to deny the permits. This seems to me to be wrong on so many levels.

My questions would be: Why, then, did they even go through the motions of having a hearing on the matter? It may have been a “hearing,” but the trustees, the solicitor and the Hilcorp lawyer certainly had no intention of listening.

Pauline Beck

Hoopenhobe Lane

West Middlesex