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Panel backs 1,250 foot buffer for gas wells around schools

June 5, 2014 News Extra

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ADAMS TWP — After months of contention among neighbors over the six Rex Energy natural gas wells proposed for a Denny Road farm, the township planning commission on Wednesday night voted 4-3 to recommend the township supervisors prohibit surface mining and unconventional gas drilling within 1,250 feet of any Mars School District property.

A parent group asked the supervisors three months ago to prohibit drilling within two miles of the Mars schools to ensure the 3,200 students in the district’s five schools, which are within a mile of the well site, would be safe in an emergency at the wells and to protect them from pollutants they say would result from the drilling operations.

Other residents in the township opposed the idea, saying the move would infringe upon their rights to do as they please with their property.

The supervisors in April told the planning commission, and the township solicitor and engineers to work together to come up with a recommendation regarding the issue.

An hour of public comment during Wednesday’s packed planning commission meeting saw residents pepper the commission with reasons for and against the two-mile prohibitive overlay.

The supervisors will now vote on whether to accept or reject the planning commission’s recommendation.

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