Forward may get Marcellus Shale project


By ERIC SLAGLE Daily News Staff Writer

A Marcellus Shale gas drilling project could be coming to Forward Township.

Township Supervisor Tom Headley announced Thursday that EQT Production Co. has applied to the state Department of Environmental Protection for a permit to drill and operate multiple gas wells on a property off Williamsport Road that is owned by Consol Coal.

Headley said there are already shallow gas drilling operations in the township but this would be the first Marcellus Shale project.

There is concern the project will impact local roads due to the heavy equipment and truckloads of sand and water necessary to drill in the Marcellus Shale layer, Headley said.

He said the township is in the process of crafting a local ordinance to regulate drilling, expected to be completed in several months.

Headley said the local ordinance likely will require drillers to get conditional use permits


calling for the installation of noise reduction, fencing and road improvements when projects are undertaken.

The proposed area for the project is between Williamsport, Pangburn Hollow and Saddler’s Hollow roads and the Monongahela River.

In other business at Thursday’s meeting, Supervisor Dave Magiske said the amount of money the township is getting from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as reimbursement for heavy snow storms in February could be “increased significantly.” Magiske couldn’t say how much more the township might receive in addition to the $48,750 it initially expected. The extra funds would be coming from an reimbursement for snow debris clean up costs, for which the municipality had to pay out of its budget.

Supervisors took action to approve an agreement to allow township police to detain prisoners in a cell at the Monongahela police station.

Forward Township police lack such a facility. Currently, when township officers apprehend a suspect they must stay with them at the police station. The township will pay Monongahela $10 per hour for detaining suspects.


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