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Marcellus Shale Drilling in Moon? Allegheny County Holds Hearing

Find out how you can speak at Thursday's meeting—when Allegheny County Council will consider shale drilling on land surrounding Pittsburgh International Airport.

Marcellus Shale Drilling in Moon? Allegheny County Holds Hearing

Allegheny County Council will hold a public hearing Thursday, gathering input on whether Consol Energy should begin extracting shale gas from the more than 900 acres of land surrounding Pittsburgh International Airport—much of which is in Moon Township. 

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald will introduce a 30-year agreement between the Allegheny County Airport Authority and the Cecil-based energy company.

The council will not take action on the measure at the meeting. 

Consol has agreed to pay a lump-sum of $40 million in addition to an 18-percent royalty on annual natural gas proceeds generated from airport land, according to Pittsbugh Post-Gazette.

The Federal Aviation Administration mandates that all gas proceeds must be used towards improving the airport, including it's properties and facilities. 

The deal would also include drilling on county airport land in West Mifflin.

The public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Sewall Center's International Room at Robert Morris University. Parking is available on campus. 

To speak at the hearing, both county and non-county residents must call 412.350.6490 or  fill out a form at this link . All requests to speak must be received before 6 p.m. tonight—24 hours prior to the start of the meeting. Those who address the board must speak within a three-minute time limit. 

No Marcellus shale drilling yet takes place in Moon Township and no one has filed for the township's drilling permit.

Moon Township supervisors in January adopted an amendment to the community's oil and gas drilling ordinance with provisions specific to Marcellus shale drilling. Under that policy, drilling is permitted in areas of the township zoned for airport operations, research and technology, mixed use and open space. 

Click here for more on Moon Township's Marcellus shale drilling policy. Log back in with  Patch for coverage of the meeting.

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For more on the issue of Marcellus shale drilling in Moon and Robinson, visit our Robinson-Moon Patch topics page. 

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