New Castle News

Hot Topics

April 26, 2014

Holdout landowners retain Pittsburgh attorney; ask hearings be postponed

NEW CASTLE — A Pittsburgh attorney is asking that next month’s hearings on forced pooling be postponed.

Atty. Omar Abuhejleh also filed a motion with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Friday allowing the affected landowners to formally intervene in the case filed by Hilcorp Energy Co.

 Abuhejleh, who has been retained by some of these holdout landowners, said he has asked for a month’s delay to prepare a case. The hearings are currently scheduled for May 7 and 8.

If granted, the motion would give the landowners status as parties to the lawsuit.  Currently, only DEP and Hilcorp Energy Corp. have this status in the case. The holdout landowners have no legal standing although the application seeks to force them to allow gas drilling on their land.

Abuhejleh said rules require him to first make an informal request for the delay and if refused, to then file formally.

According to Abuhejleh’s motion, the property owners’ interests are not being represented by DEP because the agency’s filings “are devoid of any documents or statements that would establish Hilcorp’s attempt to avail itself of the Oil and Gas Conservation Law is improper and unfounded...”

If permitted to intervene, he said, the property owners will introduce evidence of the following claims:

 •That the identified accumulation of gas is not a “pool” as defined by the law;

•That Hilcorp’s application does not include the latitude and longitude coordinates for each well drilled “to the pool sought to be spaced”;

•That Hilcorp’s application fails to identify “each well drilled to the pool”;

•That Hilcorp has not recommended spacing units based on “the maximum area which may be drained efficiently and economically by one well;”

•And that the Oil and Gas Conservation Law’s purpose of “protecting correlative rights” is not applicable “in instances of horizontal drilling for natural gas in shale formations.”

Abuhejleh said he bases his clients’ right to intervene on Article I of the Pennsylvania Constitution which states in part that residents have the right “...of acquiring, possessing and protecting property...”

He is representing Martin and Suzanne Matteo, Robert and Carol Valentine and Steve Emery.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Hot Topics
  • Our Opinion: New study suggests problem with some state shale gas wells

    A recent study of leaks from shale gas wells raises more questions than it answers. And because of the growing presence of shale gas wells in Pennsylvania, it’s essential that both government and industry provide clarity.

    July 9, 2014

  • 08.jpg Gaming board asked to take a chance here

    Lawrence County deserves a chance, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was Thursday. All seven board members, their staff, hearing officer Linda Lloyd and 200 to 225 others attended the board’s public hearing at the Mahoning Township Community Center.

    May 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Casino.jpg Area residents, groups to speak at casino hearing

    Some 55 individuals and organizations have registered to speak tomorrow at the Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing Resort Public Input Hearing. The list was released yesterday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Board, which will conduct the hearing at 10 a.m. at the Community Center in Mahoning Township on Route 224.

    May 7, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Austintown racing complex anticipates fall opening

    Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course will open in the fall. No specific date has been set, but work is progressing on several fronts on 186 acres in Austintown, Ohio. The site — less than 30 miles from New Castle — is accessible from Ohio Routes 46 and 11 and Interstate 80.

    May 7, 2014

  • gavel.jpg Holdout property owners file for injunction

    Holdout landowners are asking Commonwealth Court to declare that forced pooling violates the state constitution.

    May 5, 2014 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg Holdout landowners retain Pittsburgh attorney; ask hearings be postponed

    A Pittsburgh attorney is asking that next month’s hearings on forced pooling be postponed. Atty. Omar Abuhejleh also filed a motion with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Friday allowing the affected landowners to formally intervene in the case filed by Hilcorp Energy Co.

    April 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dangers of fracking the topic at Villa Maria

    Public health concerns about fracking must be addressed, a nurse practitioner told approximately 150 people at Villa Maria on Thursday.

    April 26, 2014

  • Bobosky.jpg Gas holdouts unconvinced of safety

    When Suzanne Matteo and her husband, Martin, bought their house on four acres in Pulaski Township they had a plan. They would grow a huge vegetable garden, raise lots of flowers and a few chickens and enjoy the fresh air and quiet.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • gavel.jpg Anti fracking group waits for answer to its letter

    More than 20 state environmental groups are asking that March 25 and 26 hearings on proposed “forced pooling” be postponed. They say more time is necessary to allow members of the public to voice their opinions.
     

    March 18, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Hilcorp_Energy.jpg Hilcorp seeks to force drilling on reluctant landowners

    A hearing has been set on a request to force local landowners to allow gas and oil drilling. Hilcorp Corp., a Texas firm with multiple well pads in the area, is asking for the so-called “forced pooling.”

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

Do you talk to yourself when you're alone?

Yes, but I’m basically just thinking out loud.
No, that would be weird.
I don’t know. Next time I’m alone, I’ll ask.
     View Results