Jay Twp. board considers new Shale ordinance

The Marcellus Shale activity now ubiquitous in Jay Township was the subject of much discussion during Thursday's meeting of the Board of Supervisors, with some calling on the board to enact greater oversight of industry activities, companies, and personnel operating within the township. Bob Coppolo of Weedville urged the board of supervisors to create an ordinance requiring companies and subcontractors to register with the township and formally announce their presence and intentions. "First of all, there's no license, it just seems like they show up. I think it would be prudent and I don't think it restrictive of Act 13 [Impact Fee] for the board of supervisors to check with your solicitor and develop an ordinance that says if these people are coming into the township, they have to register with the board of supervisors and find what they're going to do and what their activities are," Coppolo said. Supervisor Jeremy Rippey said that one aspect of the problem is the anonymity of subcontractors, hired by gas companies in providing a variety of services related to Shale operations, and currently pouring into Jay Township. "As far as who they're working for, we got a company name out of Texas and when we call them they brush you off to the next one and the next one," Rippey said. While Supervisor Murray K. Lilley explained that the industry's activities are relegated to private rather than municipal property, Coppolo said that the explosive charges used in the seismic testing process could adversely affect neighboring water sources.