On Thursday, April 14, the Penn Township Zoning Hearing Board denied the special exception request by Apex Energy for the Beattie well site, where they were proposing to conduct shale gas drilling.
"We are encouraged by the Board’s decision because during the application and hearing process Apex did not provide the Board all the required information concerning impacts to health, the environment, and quality of life. We, as a community orga
nization, decided to invest our resources to show the Board how inadequate the environmental risk modeling portion of their application was and the Board accordingly denied the application", said Gillian Graber, President of Protect PT.
Protect PT was especially concerned about the Beattie Well Pad because unlike the Quest location, which only contains two wells and was located in an industrial district, it still managed to severely impact local residents. The Beattie well, one of three proposed well pads in the vicinity, was in a rural district and would house 9 total wells and is near residents who were nervous about the noise, light, and pollution that may have resulted.
Oday Salim, an attorney with Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services who represented Protect PT in the hearing, said “We were happy to see the Board respecting the environmental protection provisions of the constitution as well as the township’s ordinance. Local governments have to know what a proposed activity’s risk will be to local residents and natural resources before it makes a decision to authorize that activity. Here, the Board came to the reasonable conclusion that it was not provided enough information about risk and so was unable to make the kind of well informed decision it is constitutionally obliged to make.”
Protect PT will continue working to ensure there are protections for the residents of Penn Township and the neighboring communities in order to make the community a safer, healthier place to live.