UPDATED: Allegheny County Council Overrides Fitzgerald Veto on Park Fracking Ban

Future drilling and fracking has been banned –in or under– Allegheny County, PA parks! Council voted July 19, 2022 to override Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s veto with a super majority vote of 12-3. Council actually added one vote to their previous super majority.

Allegheny County Council meeting July 19, 2022

“Nothing changed in the past 14 days about the nature of fracking, about the harmful practices of fracking, about the need, the want to preserve one tiny little space in our community. Yinz are fracking everywhere else. Can we please save this one little space for the enjoyment of county residents?”

Bethany Hallam, County Councilor. The parks only make up 0.2 percent of the land in Allegheny County.

Watch the 3 hour, 13 minute replay of the meeting here. Comments by county council members begin at the 1:54:00 mark and were interesting to hear. It was of particular interest to hear Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis speak about her family being rousted from their house close to Boyce Park, by what they suspected was an earthquake. Turns out it was seismic testing, which is used to map underground geology for future hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas, using a combination of 2 lbs. dynamite charges and ‘thumper trucks.’ As we’ve seen in the past, seismic testing is a sure sign that an area is up for drilling in the next few years, so those who say Boyce Park wasn’t on the industry’s radar for fracking are sorely mistaken.

Documents and images from the “Bunola 3D” seismic testing project are included below:
References were made during the meeting that there were no environmental impacts from earlier drilling and fracking close to Deer Lakes Park, but the following files from the Pennsylvania DEP prove otherwise:
Some of the dozens of violations at the well pad next to Deer Lakes Park
One of the speakers Tuesday evening said he worked for Range Resources and offered council members a tour of the company’s drilling operations. I would have suggested this site in Washington County, PA and the book “Amity and Prosperity – One Family and the Fracturing of America” about a similar site just a few miles from this one:
Embedded video of the July 19, 2022 meeting:

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