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Local Officials React to Ruling on Marcellus Shale Legislation

Local lawmakers gave their two cents on the issue, while Southpointe-based Range Resources—a Marcellus Shale industry leader—remained mum.

One local lawmaker called —the state’s newly enacted legislation regulating Marcellus Shale drilling—a  “major victory” for residents and local government bodies.

, D-Cecil, was an outspoken opponent of the bill, and he said after the ruling that he hopes the decision to give the power of regulating the zoning aspects of Marcellus Shale drilling back to local government bodies instead of the state will promote “responsible” development of shale play.

"Hopefully we can now stop the bullying and the buying-of-influence and truly work together to develop a responsible approach that will allow development of Marcellus Shale while creating a culture of true accountability and responsibility,” White said in a statement. “(Thursday’s) decision reaffirms that our constitutional protections are not for sale.”

White said the ruling proves that despite $1.3 million spent by the energy industry lobbyists “to write and pass the bill on their own,” the court did the “right thing.”

“The challenge to this law was not a partisan issue, and (Thursday’s) outcome has nothing to do with trying to stifle responsible natural gas development,” he said. “But eliminating local ordinances and replacing them with a ridiculously low standard that could not be strengthened by local elected officials is not the proper way to do business in Pennsylvania and falls dramatically short of the definition of a ‘good neighbor.’”

He continued: “In plain English, Act 13 was about a lack of local accountability and transparency that allowed companies to do virtually anything they wanted without real oversight or concern for existing property owners. It was about maximizing profits, overreaching and greed at the expense of our constitutional rights, and it was just wrong.”

But other local officials said they were “disappointed” in the ruling because it leaves many questions on how the industry will respond, as well as many others.

“Are we back to square one? Does this throw out the window? I hope not,” state Sen. Tim Solobay said. “I don’t know how the industry will respond to this.”

And he said that while Act 13 was not perfect in its final form, it was a “blessing to many communities” that didn’t have zoning regulations or the cash to implement them.

And he criticized municipal officials who said they made the challenge because they had the responsibility to protect its residents.

“I’m just as responsible (as a member of the Legislature),” he said. “That’s (expletive deleted) as far as I’m concerned.”

Then the lawmaker added: “Cecil Township is just looking at one brick. We have to look at the whole wall.”

Solobay, who voted yes on Act 13, also noted that he believed the decision would be appealed to the state Supreme Court.

Messages left on the cell phones of Range Resources spokesmen Jim Cannon, Mike Mackin and Matt Pitzarella were not returned.

However, the Marcellus Shale Coalition issued the following statement following the court ruling:

“The premise for the General Assembly's action earlier this year was to provide certainty and predictability that encourages investment and job creation across the Commonwealth. Lack of uniformity has long been an Achilles’ heel for Pennsylvania and must be resolved if the Commonwealth is to remain a leader in responsible American natural gas development and reap the associated economic, environmental and national security benefits.”

For state , D-North Strabane, the court’s ruling was an objective view of the challenges to the law.

“The court doesn’t deal in winners and losers—it interprets the law,” he said. “When the court says something is unconstitutional, you can’t do anything but accept that.”

But Cecil Supervisor Andy Schrader on Thursday still said it felt like a win for local communities, and , called it a “good day” for local government and the state of Pennsylvania.

White added that he plans to meet with members of his , to explore the feasibility of drafting a model ordinance that would allow for “uniformity and consistency while fostering a true environment of responsibility and accountability.”

He said he will extend the offer to participate in the meeting to surrounding municipalities, as well.

cecil resident July 31, 2012 at 01:49 PM
DBR your last comment quote"The vast majority of municipalites had no idea of Act 13 implications until to late. I read it on the internet before it was pass it was in newspapers and on the news months before. The representatives in the area don't keep the officals informed about laws that will affect them directly? When you are not an expert in the field of the gas and oil industries like our supervisors you rely on the advisors and the only advice that come out of their mouth is sue.
cecil resident July 31, 2012 at 02:08 PM
DBR here is a list why I have a problems with our township coming up with a far ordinance. (Yes I have seen there ordinance) 1. Everytime someone comes in to a meeting with an issue maybe with a neighbor lets pass an new ordinance without a thought that this will affect every resident in the township. 2. Where is the set back for the noisy railroad spur going thru southview no 750 foot set back ,almost on top of them. 3. The older railroad that will be bringing in possible chemicals for the spur right next to the middle school no 750 foot setback. 4. The compressor stations don't have to follow the 750 foot rule the township could work with them to put it in an area away from houses. I have seen them at meetings trying to do what the township wants and it keeps changing and delaying to another meeting a month away. 5.The township may not be trying to stop drilling but it will drive them away because of the uncertainly,they are not consistant with the way they handle things Keep up the good work Governor Corbett and continue to fight for landowners rights also .
Bill Henry July 31, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Billy that 80% figure I saw was in National Geographic and whole cities in china are run on solar power.
Jane Morrash Tolomello July 31, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Thank you Amanda, I appologize...It must have been a delay, for I looked several times before i posted that last comment...I appreciate you getting back to me. Thank YOU! I admire your professionalism. and... Proud American....I am still hearing..."blah 'blah blah blah" I still believe you are a paid mole!
Amanda Gillooly July 31, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Jane - Glad to be of assistance! And thank you for the kind words!
Jane Morrash Tolomello July 31, 2012 at 03:31 PM
your welcome Amanda...I admire you for letting a good debate be heard....! (Even though, I am on the side of a FRACK FREE nation...)...but, hey, when you see the sickness I have seen, the water destroyed, that I have seen, the LOSS OF LIFE, that I have seen, it makes it a bit hard to listen to the 'other' side. I live it..I see It .. I know It..and I KNOW I AM NOT CRAZY!!....I am just a mom, married 21 years, with a teenager, and running my own business...never got involved in any kinds of political 'crap' before...like many other ignorant Americans, I was living in a 'bubble' ...living, what I thought, was the 'American Dream'...HUH! What a joke. Now, I wake up everday with anxiety attacks. I seriously wake up in a pannick!..This all started 2 years ago, when our 'new good neighbors' moved into my backyard. They are ..HORRIBLE!...You all can think what you want...You can all go on with your 'blah blah blah'...but..in 10 years...when all of those well casing continue to leak and crumble....then...where will our economy be....every law that was put inplace to protect us from the coal industry, and their destruction, has been taken away, all for this industry, who kills and never looks back...they also torment!...they will deliver notices to everyone on my street, (as I fought my butt off to get them to do) when they, do gas releases...and purposely leave me out of the loop just because i made the most noise! my opinion, They are vendictive, dishonest, murderers!
Jane Morrash Tolomello July 31, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Six blow-outs into our wetlands, in less than on week, as they were drilling for their pipelines!..NOt ONE was reported...WE only knew because they were seen cleaning them up. They do NOT have to report them! Two of the blowouts were right next to 3 artician wells, that neither the DEP nor the Drilling company (chief gatherings, at the time, they have since, in the last few months, sold out alread!!!) knew those wells were even there! DEP rubber stamping! They look at you with a blank stare when you ask them how they could NOT know they were there! They do NOT have answers, because they DO NOT CARE!!!!!! They are not drinking that water, it does not effect them. As one of them said, under oath, "we just want to lay these pipes and get out of here!" nice!..lay the pipes and leave, and what kinds of 'waiting' disasters are they leaving behind! They simply, DO NO CARE! THERE is NO safety guidelines! They are like the wild wild west, with no sheriffs! I hate this industry, with ever ounce of my body and soul. I KNOW what they do NOT want the rest of the public to know. I KNOW they put paid moles on sites like these to discredit what we say..what we KNOW! But, I understand, you have to give them their say as well....so...I try to keep away from the comment section, as a general rule of thumb, for the stress will kill me if the indutry doesn't do it first!
Jane Morrash Tolomello July 31, 2012 at 03:47 PM
definition of 'clean up'....sucking up as much as they could, with hay and hoses, ...whatever got into the steams and creeks...(which it did!) that lead to our local water supply, as well as the one creek runs thru many families yards! They say, 'no worries' (as usual) 'nothing to toxic and is in small amounts to it is ok to drink'...ok???? (tell that to my pregnant neighbor!) "It is no more dangerous than the products under you own kitchen sink" they tell us...so...When was the last time you drank draino! Want some tasty water????
Jane Morrash Tolomello July 31, 2012 at 03:48 PM
greeed over lives!
Gene July 31, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Yours is a fascinating story, Jane. I'd love to hear more. What kind of "blow out" was it? You mentioned they were drilling for pipeline near a wetlands. Was it a bentonite (clay) leak or was it a real blow out of natural gas? What did the DEP do / say? Was the company fined? Please elaborate on the water destroyed and loss of life. I've talked with many landowners in Chartiers, Mt Pleasant, Hopewell, Buffalo, Cross Creek and Independence townships that either host, or live next to well sites. I must admit, their experiences are much different than yours.
cecil resident July 31, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Jane Tolomello sorry this is upsetting you so bad just thought it was a good debate between two different thoughts on the issue. Where is all of this taking place and it had to be before the state law because it is not in affect yet. If all of this really happening your township let you down it was their laws controlling the situation and letting them put something so close to your house. Maybe in your case the state law would have been better at less it would have been 750 feet.
Jane Morrash Tolomello July 31, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Gene, I don't know who you talk to whose story is much different than mine..who live with this industry, in their backyards.. The ONLY ones with the different story are the ones who are making money, or being gagged with a gag order!..If their water gets tainted, and they sign a gag order, then they recieve water, if they don't sign the gag order, then they are left out to dry, with no water, and no more value to their houses, who they have spent their whole lives making their homes!...NOW GONE! and there is NO Insurance to replace it all, only a GAg order brought to you by the gasman!
Jane Morrash Tolomello July 31, 2012 at 07:01 PM
the DEP huh! They did absolutely nothing!..They stared at me with blank stares, as did the Chief's attny, before he bowed his head in shame...as all of these weasles who call themselves 'men'...and even worse...'dad'..! How they sleep at night, I will never understand! The DEP nor Chief admitted they had now knowledge of those artician wells!.. They did NOT have an aswer as to why they did not know..they were too busy bowing their heads, trying to think of an answer, while I told them don't bother! rubber stamping is the procedure, and we all know that! Yes...it was bentonite, which, before you say it!..is not toxic in wet form,...such as mud...but what happens to mud when it dries? It turns to dust..and blows in the wind...for all of our children to breath! No fines, NO comments!..Just blank stares..!
Jane Morrash Tolomello July 31, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Proud American!.... If it was NOT FOR OUR LOCAL ZONING LAWS, I would now have 800 feet from my home, 3 compressor stations, 2 flares, 2 towers, 28,000 gallons of mercaptain buried into the ground...3 metering stations with all of the chemicals that go along with them...! BECAUSE OF OUR ZONING LAWS, we know only have 2, bare metering stations,(measuring only the gas) and the two pipelines tying into the 56 year old transco, that for over 2 years, we still have not been able to find out when it had been inspected last. Did I mention the 3,000+ lives, 1200 feet down the road, at the school campus?! They are in the hot zone, less then a 1/2 of a mile from the taps!...IF there was ever,,,or I should say 'when' there is an explosion, by federal law, no EMT's can enter the 'hot zone' ... so for those 3,000PLUS lives, there could be no rescues!!! ONLY recoveries...the ages range from 2years old to 18 year olds...plus teachers, staff, maintanence, tss workers, pto moms, and too many more lives that are on that campus on a everyday basis...do you realize that is more people that were killed on 9/11? THANK GOD FOR OUR ZONING LAWS...IT IS ALL THAT SAVED US..WHY DO YOU THINK THEY WANT TO TAKE THEM AWAY!?
Jane Morrash Tolomello July 31, 2012 at 07:24 PM
AND...what is the need for 'gag' orders..if they have nothing to hide..the sickenss and the destruction of the water, is not right by me, as I said, I deal with industrialization, they tried to drill here...however, the coal mining ... lol..ironically saved us..they couldn't get their drills thru the anthrocite, and the wells were coming up dry,,,the coal already burned it all up! However, I live within an hour of Dimock and Bradford county..who I personnally know people who have lost family members do to cancer..3 in one household....with a well within a few feet of their home....!..Not on their property, but the nieghbors! Also, I personally know another girl in Bradford county who was loosing her life, and had to sign a gag order to get the medical care she needed!....so... that is just a few of some of the 'real' stories...sorry...no talk about money, or the economy from me..just death, and fear!.
Gene July 31, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Thanks for info Jane. I've read the stories of the water issues up there around Dimock, PA for the past couple of years. I remember reading a recent article about the EPA's investigation. I'm aware of a couple of gag orders here in SWPA. From the networking I've done with other landowners, and news articles, I've heard a range of reasons for the orders - from minors being part of the settlement to companies wanting to prevent the "ambulance chasing" lawyers from getting details of the monetary settlement. Of course, that's second, third, and fourth hand information. It's my experience that corporations tend to settle claims to prevent bad press regardless of the merits of the claim. Cabot in Dimock is a notable exception.
Billy July 31, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Fear mongering will not gut it. Your exaggerations here do not make sense. There is no way three members of the same household would die of cancer in a time table of a single generation. Even if exposed to high radiation the effects would differ individually. It might be a possibility of a genetic defect but that would be almost impossible as well. Just in case you really want to worry yourself to death nuclear weapons are shipped by truck over our interstate system .
Billy July 31, 2012 at 11:13 PM
After all the fear mongering about Dimock Pa. see the truth !!! http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/07/epa_says_dimock_water_is_safe.html Problem is it is way to easy for some to sue in order to enrich themselves instead of working towards that goal.
cecil resident August 01, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Thank you Billy for this article you would hope it would put some peoples mind to rest. When people have a fear of an industry no amount of data will change their mind.
Jane Morrash Tolomello August 01, 2012 at 05:24 AM
Billy, I seemed to have hit a nerve with you by mentioning Dimock...I don't need to see what the epa reported..I know what independent water tests show...well above safty measures. Also, the family DID loose 3 lives on Carter Rd. Dimock...the Mother lived with her son and daughter and husband...the husband died, the mother died, and the son died...all of cancer! all within 2 years! So don't even try to tell me about Dimock. I have been there..I have seen! I know what those people went thru, the ones who made the money are the ones who originally signed the gag order and is secretly still getting water deliveries to some of those houses claiming their water is fine!..video of trucks coming in with water at 2am! Please. and Billy...those nuclear weapons do not live next to me .. tormenting me! Killing people daily!
Jane Morrash Tolomello August 01, 2012 at 05:45 AM
@Proud American....Hydraulic Fracturing has been around...HOWEVER... Horizontal hydraulic fracturing is relatively newer...there is a difference...BUT..I AM SURE , you already new that.
Jane Morrash Tolomello August 01, 2012 at 05:52 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjTNxTzkivU
Jane Morrash Tolomello August 01, 2012 at 05:59 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjTNxTzkivU These are test results from a geologist NOT paid by the industry! YOu are not talking to someone is a 'fear mongel'...quivering in a corner..My fear is that one day..my daughter will be home..and I won't.. when those pipes leak and a quad drives thru those woods..as they do on a daily basis. or when they release the gas and don't let anyone know, and that hunter lights up a cigerette, as they do.. My fear is my whole family will be killed...I will be left behind...without one memory. I am NOT someone who has not been up Against you trolls and moles and spokeshoes, and attnys, school boards...and Industry Paid engineers, and Industry PAID 'SCIENTISTS'..(haha...$63,000 for his testimony, he testified to receiving.) to tell us how the 'building' the metering stations were in would stop any explosion...lol..because they were un-explodable....no need to worry...)…( The Springville compressor station just blew up a few months ago…the industry and the media called it a ’small flash fire’…that little flash fire, blew the roof off of the building...man made error…and the DEP told them they could NOT start it up again until it was inspect …it was running the very next day…when DEP was asked why they were never fined…they never had an answer!)
Jane Morrash Tolomello August 01, 2012 at 06:11 AM
and DON'T forget the paid real estate agent who told us our house will increase in value with the pipelines basically in our yards, he says compressor stations increase home values as well...(hahahaha...oh ya...I haven't been seeing those increases...as a matter of fact, I've seen just the oposite! Mortgage companies have denied refinances and mortgages on properties near drilling. And the the insurance companies have already started to increase homeowners insurance. NO one wants to purchase a house...SURROUNDED WITH TOXIC, CANCER CAUSING AIR! ..THEN you have your arrogant CEOS! Who grin at you every time YOU speak...that evil grin...that says…“Everything you are saying is true...however...you will never prove it...because we have ALOT of money, which buys power and we, the people lving near it, are just in the way“….those kinds of evil grins!!!) but…just so we will feel better, they tell us they will plant 'pretty flowers' around those toxic buildings.....you know..to make it 'blend' in with nature...OMG...I can't even stand typing this...it makes me ill...to know you all speak to us as if we are uneducated imbeciles!....! .and...sorry for the labling..( and for the wording Amanda., but please....this is THEIR GAME) so let me be able to tell the rest of the people the rules according to THEM!
Jane Morrash Tolomello August 01, 2012 at 06:16 AM
You see..... I have been fighting a fight...and sometimes things get ugly..and when you are fighting for your life, the life of your family..the life of your friends...for the tears of some tough 50ish year old men...who this industry has brought to their knees....because this industry isn't happy just shutting you up...if they Have to continue to shut you up..they make it VERY UGLY for you....first..they take away YOUR CLEAN WATER..then .. they make sure...YOU look like the idiot...! (which they are very good at doing when you have billions of dollars to talk for you on your side)...hhhuummm...for example, Pittsburg University.....or maybe a much much much BETTER Example..PENNNNNN STATE! Let's see...how can we connect Cor BUTT to Penn State...oh oh . oh...let me count the ways....! Or you can go to the links I posted earlier...'connecting the dots'....!!!! Please.... I am not an idiot! However, sometimes I feel like I am in a Sci-Fi movie!!!!! I am just so, Soo dishearten by my government, who I was raised to believe would protect me…Now .. I know the truth..I am just a commodity…like many others who are ’in the way’
Gene August 01, 2012 at 09:00 AM
Jane, I want to believe you but now you're sounding like an anti-drilling plant on this site rather than an aggrieved land owner. Corbett wasn't even in office when the allegations of water contamination by methane migration occurred in Dimock. It was Rendell and Hanger running the state and DEP. The majority of landowners in Dimock refute the claims of the few that allege water problems. As Billy mentioned, the EPA's testing supports the DEP's and other independent testing. As far as I know the EPA is not a friend of the oil and gas industry. Are they being paid off too?
Roger August 01, 2012 at 10:44 AM
Gene, I agree with your assessment about being a plant. The posts have all the marks of a troll. The rambling, misspellings, poor grammar, etc. do not make the contents believable or valuable. I'm doubting the poster even lives in this area (missing the 'h' on Pittsburgh is a big clue).
Victoria Adams August 01, 2012 at 12:29 PM
So someone who leaves the letter 'h' off of Pittsburgh gets bashed for a lack of authenticity, but anonymous bullies without the guts to use their real names are supposed to be listened to without question? Does that make sense, proud american state senator Tim Solobay?
cecil resident August 01, 2012 at 02:08 PM
This is unbeliveable I have been called a mole,plant, anonymous bully, not having the guts to provide my name by my local representative, even that I am Senator Tim Solobay under cover. Why because I have a different belief. With all of my debates I have never accused anyone of the things I have been accused of. All I have done is post what I believe in and I believe that the gas and oil Industry is needed for our great country to survive, this country was built on this industry along with our other resources. I am so tired of relying on countries who's methods of drilling are so much more risky then ours and don't have the regulations that ours have in this country. Regardless of what I am called or whoever you think I am it won't change the fact that I am a life long resident of Cecil Township, in the State of Pennsylvania have who has never been in politics don't have any connections with the oil and gas industry (don't even have a lease yet) and wouldn't have a problem posting my name but you can see the hate that comes out in simple debate. I respect you and your beliefs even though I don't agree with them and ask that you do the same.
Amanda Gillooly August 01, 2012 at 02:18 PM
This thread has gotten off the subject - and has devolved into name calling. For this reason, I am shutting off the comments. If you would like to speak with me call me at 724-510-5659 or email me at amanda.gillooly@patch.com.

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