Fitzgerald signs ordinance to allow drilling for natural gas in Deer Lakes Park

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Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald this morning signed the ordinance that authorizes the county to lease the gas rights beneath Deer Lakes Park.

He put his John Hancock on the plan that will allow Range Resources and its partner Huntley & Huntley to conduct off-site extraction of the natural gas beneath the 1,180-acre county park in Frazer and West Deer, nearly two months after he first proposed it.

Last week, after holding dozens of hours of public meetings and hearing a great deal of public comment both for and against the plan, members of Allegheny County Council voted 9 to 4, with one member abstaining, to pass the ordinance.

Mr. Fitzgerald, in the early morning hour following the vote, called council’s decision a “victory” for taxpayers, for people who use the parks and for residents of Frazer and West Deer.

The lease Mr. Fitzgerald negotiated will yield $4.7 million in a bonus payment to the county, $3 million to a park improvement fund and 18 percent in royalties to the county.

Range will drill wells horizontally from pads located outside the park.

Here is the link to the ordinance.

Kaitlynn Riely: or 412-263-1707.

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