Type of Protective Zoning: Additional Public Notice Requirements
One way to ensure that your community is aware of proposed fracking infrastructure is to create additional notice requirements. In the section on the different types of zoning permits you will see that different applications can create obligations for your local government to notify the public about the proposal.
Having an ordinance which requires the applicant (and not the locality) provide additional notice - beyond what the local government is obligated to do - can help shift the burden from the taxpayers to the applicant, as well as ensure that the community is successfully informed.
You may want an operator to simply notify people within a larger area than what is already required by the Municipal Planning Code (MPC). Or you may want a company to increase the amount of information included in the notification, beyond the minimal requirements set out in the Municipal Planning Code.
Another manner additional notice could be included in an ordinance is that a company needs to notify neighboring properties continually, as certain types of activity takes place.
For example, this ordinance from Oakmont Borough requires that an operator contact every neighbor within a certain radius, ten days before any seismic activity.
Example of Additional Public Notice Requirements:
The Peters Township Ordinance reads:
S. Prior to drilling an oil and gas well or multiple oil and gas wells at a location, but no later than two (2) weeks beforehand, the Operator shall provide the following information to each resident within 1,000 feet of the planned surface location of the well(s):
a. A copy of the well survey plat showing the locations(s) of the planned well(s),
b. A general description of the planned operations at the planned well(s) and associated equipment used in the development of the well(s)
c. Operators shall test all water supplies within 1,000’ of each well site and share the results with landowners and the Township. (Refer to §713 E.)
d. The contact information of the Operator, and
e. The availability of the Operator to hold a meeting with such residents to present Operator’s plans for the well(s) and to allow for questions and answers. The meeting(s) shall be held prior to well site construction.
Places with that type of language:
- Oakmont Borough
- Bell Acres - Requires proof of written notice of a proposed well pad to all owners of property within Two Thousand Five Hundred Feet (2,500) of a Well Pad.
- West Pike Run - Seismic testing ordinance requires that applicants notify all property owners within a certain radius at least 10 days before testing.