Thursday, February 13, 2014

Little fracking concern in some Pa towns without zoning

If you live in New Jersey, you probably can't imagine a town or county that is not subject to zoning laws. That's not the case in northeastern Pennsylvanian where drilling for natural gas is most active. And that, apparently, is just fine with many residents there.
StateImpact's Katie Colaneri reports:
In Susquehanna County, Planning Director Bob Templeton says the idea of zoning has never gone over well.
“People are not rich in Susquehanna County, but what they do own is their land and they’re very proud of that,” he says. “It’s been passed down for generations, so don’t mess with my land.”
After the natural gas industry moved in, the county passed an ordinance to deal with noisy compressor stations that move the gas through pipelines. Otherwise, Templeton says many residents in Susquehanna – where only six of the county’s 40 municipalities have adopted zoning codes – just accepted the changes to their rural lifestyle.
“If I’m out in the townships and I've leased my land and now I’m looking forward to royalties, I don’t want somebody controlling it,” he says. ”How can you say this area is allowed to be drilled upon and this area is not?”
Last year's decision by the state supreme court, restoring the local zoning power over fracking that had been taken away by Governor Tom Corbett and the state legislature, likely will be welcome in suburban areas where residents are fearful of the noise, truck traffic, pipelines and potential environmental damage that could result from natural gas drilling.

But not everywhere. 

For more check out StateImpact's story and audio

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