Harveys Lake anti-drilling activists to hold meeting

Date: February 28, 2011

MATT HUGHES mhughes@timesleader.com

Frustrated with the borough\’s inaction on the anti-gas drilling ordinance they first proposed at a meeting last summer, Harveys Lake residents and members of the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition will hold their own town hall meeting Saturday.

The residents hope to drum up support for the model ordinance before the next borough council meeting, when they plan to introduce it again.

“Our council has ignored our pleas to simply conduct a public hearing to discuss this ordinance with the residents and allow their input on it,” coalition member Michelle Boice said in an e-mail.

“After months of approaching them and their failure to respond, we have decided to have our own town hall-style meeting to discuss it with the residents.”

The proposed ordinance, drafted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, of Summit Hill, would prohibit any corporation from extracting natural gas within the borough and make it unlawful to use water from any source within the borough for extraction of natural gas. It targets the process of hydraulic fracturing, which shale gas drilling critics link to drinking-water contamination.

The group drafted similar ordinances for other municipalities, including Pittsburgh, which banned hydraulic fracturing in November, and Buffalo, N.Y., where the city\’s common council voted Tuesday to ban the practice.

It distributed copies of its draft ordinance at council\’s November meeting, and on Jan. 19, council at its regular meeting voted to advertise a public meeting to discuss the proposal, but that vote ended in a 3-3 tie, with one council member absent.

Mayor Clarence Hogan did not elect to cast a deciding vote, and the council “left the tie vote dangle and moved on to other business with no response,” Boice said.

Boice said the Gas Drilling Awareness Coalition will hold its meeting to offer residents the chance to comment on the ordinance. The group will again ask council to hold a meeting about the ordinance at its upcoming Tuesday meeting, she added.

The town hall meeting will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Harveys Lake Municipal Building. Ben Price of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, author of Pittsburgh\’s anti-fracking ordinance, will speak. All are welcome.

Copyright: Times Leader

Joe Price
Attorney Joe Price is a seasoned Trial Lawyer serving Northeast, Central and Southeast Pennsylvania for the past forty (40) years. He has handled serious personal injury cases in courts throughout the Federal system including New Jersey and New York. Attorney Price is A.V. Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is Board Certified in Civil Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1996.