Allegheny Council Bans Fracking in County Parks Over Executive Veto

by admin on July 25, 2022

County Council has voted to override their Executive and ban fracking

Fracking ban impact on Allegheny County parks

From an Article by Chandi Chapman, Pittsburgh Action 4 News, July 20, 2022

MONROEVILLE, Pa. — Allegheny County Councilman At-Large Sam DeMarco said a bill that bans fracking at county parks doesn’t make an impact since there are no future fracking projects planned, but council member Olivia Bennett said she’s excited for the decision she’s been pushing.

“This will impact county parks by making them safe,” Bennett said. She said the bill prohibits future fracking and heavy industrial activities at the parks. However, the project involving fracking at Deer Lakes Park can continue, but work cannot be expanded.

Marcellus Shale Coalition President David Callahan said he is disappointed in the move. “We think we can have both economic development and environmental protection, if not environmental advancement, through the safe and responsible development of natural gas, and we are seeing that take place in Deer Lakes Park,” Callahan said.

Zachary Barber, with groups like Penn Environment, said the bill is a win. “They voted to keep toxic fracking out of our parks, like North Park or Harrison Hills, which will help make sure that these outdoor spaces are safe for kayaking, biking, hiking and other enjoyment in generations to come,” Barber said.

DeMarco said he’s worried the language in the bill is too vague. “We believe it was overly broad,” he said. “They don’t specify, when they say commercial leases, that it can’t be anything else other than fracking. So the concern is kayak rentals, the restaurant in North Park, the ski operators in Boyce Park.”

Bennett said, “We’re not saying that we are restricting all business. The businesses connected to recreation, of course we will make sure that that business is able to still remain there.” She gives the example of kayak rentals.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald wasn’t available to comment on the council’s vote to override his veto. His office referred Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 to his statement last week about the reasons why he chose to veto.

See the video report here. ~~~ Also, see this other video report here.

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