Allegheny County Council approves drilling at airport


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Allegheny County Council approved a contract Monday night to drill for natural gas on Pittsburgh International Airport land, but not without disagreement.

Four council members voted against the measure in a contentious meeting that saw strong public turnout against drilling.

A recurring theme? Doing due dilligence in safety and environmental impact.

"I'm not completely convinced that we've done what we've needed to do in the short amount of time we've been given," said council member James Burn Jr., D-Millvale, who joined Barbara Danko, D-Regent Square, Amanda Green Hawkins, D-Stanton Heights, and William Robinson, D-Hill District, in voting against the contract.

Heather Heidelbaugh, R-Mt. Lebanon, abstained, saying her law firm has represented Consol Energy, who won the county's drilling contract. The balance of the board voted yes.

Supporters of the contract said it will bring much-needed development to the airport and could supply the region with thousands of jobs.

"There are so many jobs that are related to this in my neck of the woods, and I haven't heard of one person who has told me to vote against this," said council member Robert Macey, D-West Mifflin.

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Andrew McGill: amcgill@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1497


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