UPDATE 6/14/2019 (TO 6/6/2019 NOTICE)
(click here to view update)
As a follow-up to the 6/6/19 statement, here is a link to the revised Oil and Gas Ordinance 648-2018 and overlay district map. At the June 19 Council Meeting, this revised ordinance will be introduced, and there will be a motion to place it into pending status.
Below is a list of the key revisions. Council has elected to incorporate all of the recommendations provided by the Planning Commission, as well as several additional changes as listed below.
Planning Commission – List of Recommended Revisions
1. Revise the definition of “Oil and Gas Development” to exclude natural gas compressor stations and natural gas processing plants.
2. Revise the definition of “Public Recreation Area” to include land owned by the Allegheny Land Trust.
3. Revise the purpose statement located in §212-1401 to make it clear that the pending ordinance applies to both conventional and unconventional oil and gas operations and to clarify that purely subsurface operations are not covered by the pending ordinance.
4. Revise §212-1402 to remove the second sentence as recommended by the Allegheny County Planning Department.
5. Revise §212-1405(A)(1) by adding a setback of 2000 feet for adult care facilities, day cares, hospitals, retirement communities and schools.
6. Revise §212-1405(A)(2) by changing the setbacks from public recreation areas to 500 feet.
7. Revise §212-1405(A)(4) to increase the minimum lot sizes for oil and gas developments and oil and gas facilities to 10 acres.
8. Revise §212-1405(C) to add language indicating that other than fresh water, no impoundment may be used to store any substance or material generated from any property other than the property on which the impoundment is located. Additionally, add language that states that the Borough reserves the right to require impoundments to be completely enclosed within a structure with solid walls and a roof.
9. Revise §212-1405(P) to add the following language: “A comprehensive list identifying any and all permits and approvals required by law with respect to the oil and gas development and/or facility shall be provided to the municipality with the conditional use application and shall be certified as true, correct and complete by a professional engineer. Additionally, a copy of all permit applications submitted by the applicant and/or owner and a copy of all permits and approvals issued to the applicant and/or owner with respect to the oil and gas development and/or facility shall be provided to the municipality with the conditional use application. To the extent that any required permits or approvals are not provided with the conditional use application, the applicant and/or owner shall provide the municipality with a written explanation for each missing permit and/or approval with its conditional use application.”
10. Revise §212-1405(S) by replacing the current language with the following language: “Notice of spills, etc. Notice of any spill, leak, malfunction and/or release creating an emergency situation at a development or facility that threatens to harm or causes actual harm to the health and safety of individuals and/or the environment shall be immediately reported by the operator to the chief officers of the municipality’s emergency service providers and to the borough manager. Notice of any spill, leak, malfunction and/or release that does not create an emergency situation at a development facility and which does not threaten to harm or cause actual harm to the health and safety of individuals and/or the environment shall be reported within twelve (12) hours to the chief officers of the municipality’s emergency service providers and to the borough manager. The operator shall immediately remove or cause to be removed all waste materials from any public or private property affected by such spill, leak, malfunction and/or release.”
11. Change the boundaries of the Oil and Gas Recovery District Overlay. The recommended revisions would reduce the overlay area from approximately 667.9 acres to approximately 514.11 acres.
Borough Council – List of Additional Revisions
1. Increase the setback from oil and gas developments and oil and gas facilities to protected structures to 1100 ft (was 1000 ft).
2. Add water testing requirements to supplement the state requirements. Add newly defined terms necessitated by the addition of the water testing requirements.
3. Add a section on vibrations.
4. Update the existing odor ordinance.
5. Add a provision stating that flaring is prohibited.
6. Add additional noise control provisions.
7. Add a requirement that access driveways be paved.
8. Add a requirement that certification of DEP bonding requirements must be provided.
After the revised ordinance is introduced, it will be sent to Allegheny County for their review and comments. The Planning Commission will also be asked to provide their recommendations, which is expected to be done at their July 16 meeting, beginning at 8:00pm. Public comment will be taken at this meeting.
A Public Hearing will be held at Council’s August 21 Regular Meeting, beginning at 7:00pm. It is Council’s intention to open and close the Public Hearing at this meeting.
Further information and updates will be provided as warranted.