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Friday, May 16, 2014

Fox guarding the henhouse again...

"It’s a drastic change,” Ms. Vance said of the proposed amendments. “Somebody else should be monitoring [drilling] and governing it, not just people who have such a great stake in it,” she said.

"Loosened rules for Marcellus Shale drilling are part of a proposed overhaul of zoning laws in Robinson, Washington County. Supervisors will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. June 2 in Fort Cherry High School auditorium, 110 Fort Cherry Rd., to discuss amendments related to natural gas operations, zoning districts, farm regulations and other issues. Chairman Rodger Kendall, who joined the board in January, has said he rewrote much of the zoning ordinance with the help of attorney Loretta Kendall, his sister. In a newsletter set to be distributed to residents, drilling supporters Mr. Kendall and Vice Chairman Stephen Duran said three public workshop meetings in February pointed out problems with zoning regulations such as “a regulatory shut out [sic] of oil and gas drilling,” split zoning of some properties and “unattainable noise standards” on farms. “The amendments proposed by Mr. Kendall addressed the discovered discrepancies,” according to the newsletter.

Supervisor Mark Brositz said Monday that he disagrees with much of the content of the newsletter. He voted against copying and mailing it—a project estimated to cost about $1,500. “I feel that there [are] misstatements and lack of a complete story in several of the articles,” Mr. Brositz said. Mr. Kendall is a leaseholder with driller Range Resources, and Mr. Duran’s father holds a drilling lease. Township attorney Gretchen Moore said Monday that a letter has been sent to the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission asking for an opinion on the appropriateness of the(se) supervisors voting on drilling issues."