Concerns about drilling raised in Lake Township

Eileen Godin Times Leader Correspondent

LAKE TWP – Concerns over gas drilling and a nuisance property brought two different groups to Wednesday’s supervisors meeting.

Ron Kirkutis and others expressed concerns over possible air and water pollution caused by Marcellus Shale gas drilling.

Kirkutis said information he read revealed about 280 chemicals are used in the fluid the gas drilling companies use.

“Some chemicals are carcinogenic,” he said. “I have a newborn and a 3-year-old. What if that seeps into my well water?”

“I do not want to see a gas drilling operation going on next door,” he said.

Luzerne Conversation District member and Township Supervisor Amy Salansky said residents who lease their property should make sure the gas company is required to test the well water.

She also assured residents that no gas drilling permits have been issued in Lake Township.

Township Attorney Mark McNealis said the supervisors will not have much control over gas drilling.

“The supervisors do not oversee the zoning within the township. That falls under the Luzerne County zoning office, but talk to DEP (the state Department of Environmental Protection), talk to your agencies,” he said.

Also concerned with pollution, resident Leonard Ruotolo complained about a nuisance property.

Ruotolo along with residents Lewis and Edna Higgins, told the supervisors that William Harrison did not comply with the state DEP’s 45-day timeframe to clean up his property, and the situation is getting worst.

DEP issued a citation in August ordering Harrison to clean up three trash piles on his Tulip Road property.

The matter is now awaiting action by DEP’s compliance and legal teams.

McNealis said this is coming down to an enforcement matter. He said residents should contact the district attorney’s office and state Rep. Karen Boback, the county zoning office and the state police.

Copyright: Times Leader