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Jim Thorpe looks to create natural gas drilling ordinance

Published May 25. 2011 05:00PM

Boroughs and municipalities in Pennsylvania have been looking into creating ordinances protecting themselves from the impacts of drilling natural gas from Marcellus Shale. The Jim Thorpe Planning Commission is also looking into drafting an ordinance protecting the borough.

Drilling is being done in Pennsylvania and areas near drilling sites need to be careful of how the environment, the sewer lines, and the water supply are impacted.

Planning Commission Committee member, Joe Micko, stated that even if drilling isn't done in the Jim Thorpe community, the citizens need to be careful if drilling is being done in the surrounding area.

"These impacts often exceed any local boundaries. We may not be a prime candidate but we still can be impacted by what is done in our area, our region," he added.

Members from the committee had the chance to attend an informational session in Harrisburg on natural gas drilling. State officials and representatives of natural gas drilling companies presented information and answered questions.

"They (drilling company representatives) understand the municipalities may put additional requirements on them," said Planning Commission Chair, Louis Hall.

"They were basically saying that we understand that there are going to be issues and concerns. We may have to jump through different hoops in each community we go to," added Hall.

The Planning Commission is looking into other natural gas drilling ordinances and ways to protect the borough from the impacts. Some members plan to attend the, Planning to Manage Secondary Impacts of Natural Gas Development training seminar hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

The members will further discuss these concerns and work towards drafting an ordinance.

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