Allegheny County seeks drilling proposals for Deer Lakes Park

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Allegheny County has issued a request for proposals from companies interested in the rights to gas, oil and other hydrocarbons under Deer Lakes Park.

In a news release today, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said the guidelines specify that bidders for rights to natural gas, oil or other hydrocarbons under the park must try to meet performance standards developed by the Center for Sustainable Shale Development.

Range Resources has been buying leases for land ringing the park in Frazier with an eye toward drilling under the park from adjacent land. Mr. Fitzgerald favors such a plan but Councilwoman Barbara Daly Danko has introduced a bill calling for a three-year moratorium on any drilling under parks.

The drilling restrictions would ask bidders for plans to meet recommendations to maintain a plan to recycle flowback produced water, for usage in drilling or fracturing a well, to the maximum extent possible; design each well pad to minimize the risk that drilling-related fluids and waste come in contact with surface waters and fresh groundwater; develop and implement a plan for monitoring existing water sources, including aquifers and surface waters within a 2,500-foot radius of the wellhead (or greater if geologic characteristics indicate); demonstrate that water quality and chemistry measured during a pre-drilling assessment are not impacted by operations; design and install casing and cement to completely isolate the well and all drilling produce fluids from surface waters and aquifers, to prevent vertical movement of fluids in the annulus.

The deadline for proposals is 3 p.m. Oct. 25.

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