New Castle News

Closer Look

March 31, 2014

DEP sets ‘forced pooling’ hearing for May

NEW CASTLE — Hearings that could lead to “forced pooling” have been re-scheduled for May.

The Department of Environmental Protection announced that there will be three hearings, and one will be reserved for testimony from the public.

The new hearing dates are 10 a.m. May 7 and 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. May 8. All the hearings will be at the Albert P. Gettings Government Center Annex next to the Lawrence County courthouse.

The first two hearings will consist of testimony from DEP, Hilcorp, property owners and operators in the area subject to the order. The public will be allowed to attend and observe those hearings but will not be allowed to testify. Only at the 6 p.m. May 8 hearing will members of the public be allowed to provide input.

When the hearings initially were announced, only two morning hearings were scheduled  for March 25 and 26, and no provision was made for input from the general public. At that time, the DEP had requested that a third session be added for public input. A citizens group also had asked that a public session be scheduled in the evening to allow greater public access.

Shortly after, the DEP announced postponement of the March hearings to allow for notification of some landowners who were not informed personally of the hearings.

 The hearings will be on the application of Hilcorp Energy Co. of Texas for a well spacing order that establishes four gas well drilling units on 3,267 acres over the Utica Shale formation in Pulaski Township, Lawrence County, and Shenango Township, Mercer County. If the well drilling and spacing unit order is granted, the next step would be a hearing on an integration order. It this is granted, it would force holdout landowners to negotiate a price and sign a gas and oil lease.

This will be the first-ever spacing order application for an unconventional shale gas well in Pennsylvania, DEP officials have said.

The assigned hearing officer, attorney Michael Bangs of Cumberland County, will preside at the hearings. After the hearings, Bangs will make a recommendation, but the final decision is up to DEP Secretary Christopher Abruzzo.

(Email: grzebieniak@ncnewsonline.com)

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • disability.jpg Disabilities group unveils new icon

    Disability Options Network is joining forces with the Accessible Icon Project. Officials of the community organization, located at 1929 E. Washington St., said its new icon will replace the current international symbol for accessibility.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • well.jpg Auditor: State doesn’t have enough inspectors to monitor wells

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • vote.jpg Independent hopefuls may widen gubernatorial field

    Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • manna.jpg John K. Manna: Measuring the money

    Should we even bother to have an election in November? By some accounts, maybe the results of some contests are already in.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • shooting.jpg Man injured in city shooting

    A man was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital Thursday morning following a shooting on West Lincoln Avenue.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • police.jpg Police: Man pulls gun on construction workers

    Construction workers in Neshannock Township flagged down police Thursday claiming a business owner had pulled a gun on them.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Shooting witness arrested for giving false name

    State police have arrested a second Detroit area man after questioning him about Sunday’s fatal shooting in Ellwood City. DeMarco Dorian Hoskins, 22, of Highland Park, Mich., was the third man in a private car that transported the deceased to look for a hospital. Hoskins allegedly gave police a false identity when they questioned him as witness.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • bridgerepair.jpg PennDOT seeks outside help to make bridge repairs

    State officials are poised to sign a massive deal that will enlist outside help to rebuild and maintain up to 600 bridges, marking the Corbett administration’s latest foray into privatizing key government functions.

     

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • GALLO_Natalie.jpg County native plays Clinton intern

    Natalie Gallo isn’t an intern, but she’s playing one on the New York stage.

     

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Coroner: Shooting victim hit by two bullets

    An autopsy revealed a Detroit area man killed in an Ellwood City shootout had suffered two gunshot wounds. Only one was a fatal hit.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage