Confusion regarding landowners' rights in Marcellus Shale

Bob Coppolo of Weedville said when he was recently approached by gas company representatives seeking access to his land, he balked at the idea of signing on the dotted line without first reading through the fine print."I was approached by at least two different companies. One guy had an easement and wanted me to sign it. I said, 'I'm not signing it, I want to read it,'" Coppolo said. Coppolo equated the signing of an easement, a legal agreement which grants gas companies access to a landowner's acreage, with "signing your property away." "In the end when he came back. I said, 'I'm not signing, I don't want you on my property.' If you sign it, they can go anyplace on your property. They can go anywhere on your property," Coppolo said. Similar concerns regarding landowners' rights in the age of Marcellus Shale were expressed by residents and officials at the recent meeting of the Jay Township Board of Supervisors. The discussion highlighted the grey area that is Marcellus Shale policy and regulation in Pennsylvania.