Lehman Twp. resident expresses concerns on drilling

CAMILLE FIOTI Times Leader Correspondent

LEHMAN TWP. – Chris Miller of Jackson Road voiced concerns Monday about the effects of possible gas drilling in the township.

“I am not opposed to gas drilling,” he said told the township supervisors at their meeting. “I am concerned and vigilant about what gas drilling can do to our special community if we do not properly plan.”

He commended the board for passing the Growing Greener ordinance last year that was adopted to help preserve natural, open space in the township.

“Many of us who live here do so because this is a wonderful community,” Miller said. “Our kids can breathe fresh air. The water is clean. There is plenty of forest to hike and hunt in and streams to fish in,” he added.

Supervisor Ray Iwanoski said the board is also concerned; however, the state, not the township, has control over drilling. Drilling hasn’t started in the township, but a number of leases have been issued, Supervisor Dave Sutton said.

“I’m also not opposed to drilling,” Sutton said. “But the township’s initial concern is damage to the roads.” Large trucks hauling machinery and polluted water used in hydraulic fracturing – the type of drilling used to stimulate the release of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale – will take a toll on the township’s roads, Sutton added.

Iwanoski said the board plans to meet with representatives from Whit Mar, the Denver-based firm that has a hold on the area’s gas leases.

In another matter, Sutton addressed complaints made by several Oak Drive residents at last month’s meeting regarding the condition of their road. Sutton said the residents complained that their road is riddled with potholes and is dangerous to drive on.

“There was a lot of exaggeration at the last meeting,” he said. He said he tested the road on his way home from that meeting. “The road is very safe. It was very easy to drive.”

Iwanoski added the road didn’t qualify for a state grant to pave it. He said the road crew patched the potholes the day after the complaints were made.

Copyright: Times Leader