Range Resources drilling requests denied in Robinson, Washington County

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Robinson supervisors voted 3-0 Monday night to deny two requests by Range Resources to drill the Marcellus Shale in their Washington County township.

Chairman Brian Coppola said Range Resources failed to provide sufficient information and documentation to comply with township law.

In late January, Range Resources-Appalachia-LLC of Cecil filed lawsuits against Robinson in Washington County Common Pleas Court and in Commonwealth Court. The firm claims it is entitled to approval of its plans, said Jonathan Kamin, special legal counsel for the township.

Range Resources has proposed drilling multiple natural gas wells on 168 acres owned by Micheale F. Parees and Robert M. Frame on Midway-Candor Road and on 84 acres owned by Rodger C. and Susan C. Kendall on Valleyview Road.

About 80 people attended the township meeting Monday, including drilling leaseholders who criticized the board for delaying approvals.

Steve Duran said the community needs the jobs and economic activity spurred by drilling. "This is an industry that can help us all," he said.

Dorothy Bassett defended the supervisors, saying they were acting responsibly and protecting the rights and well-being of residents. "This board is trying to do the best they can for everybody," she said.

Mr. Coppola said the board denied the conditional-use applications because Range Resources didn't submit an appropriate site plan, neglected to provide specific answers to the board's questions and failed to demonstrate compliance with the township's noise standards and zoning ordinance.

Mr. Kamin said if an application does not meet all the conditions of the ordinance, the board cannot approve it. "It has nothing to do if you think drilling is good, bad, or you're indifferent to it," he said.

marcellusshale - neigh_west - neigh_washington

Andrea Iglar, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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