New hearing dates announced for Hilcorp application

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Department of Environmental Protection announced that the hearing sessions on an application for gas well spacing units, or spacing order, received from Hilcorp Energy Co., have been scheduled for May 7 and May 8.

“We successfully secured a delay in order to ensure the public was properly informed on this important matter,” DEP Deputy Secretary Scott Perry said. “The postponed hearing sessions will give the department time to personally notify all potentially impacted royalty owners and operators well in advance of the hearing proceedings.”

Application

Hilcorp Energy Co. is applying for a well spacing order that establishes four gas well drilling units on 3,267 acres to drill into the Utica Shale Formation in Pulaski Township, Lawrence County and Shenango Township, Mercer County. Under the Oil and Gas Conservation Law of 1961, when a spacing order application is submitted, an administrative hearing must be held prior to entering an order establishing well spacing and drilling units.

Dates set

The first hearing session, originally scheduled to occur in March, has been rescheduled for May 7 and May 8. The hearing session will begin at 10 a.m. and 9 a.m. respectively and be held at the Albert P. Gettings Government Center Annex of the Lawrence County Government Center, Assembly Room, 349 Countyline St., New Castle.

The first, two-day hearing session will accept testimony, much like a trial, on the spacing order application from DEP, Hilcorp and all property owners and operators in the area subject to the order.

The first session will be open for the general public to attend and observe. The second hearing session will begin at 6 p.m. on May 8, at the same location. As requested previously by DEP, anyone from the general public will have the opportunity to provide input about the application at the second session.
Although it isn’t required by law, DEP also will directly notify all royalty owners and operators within the area subject to the requested order.

Delay requested

On March 21, DEP, along with Hilcorp, requested a delay in the hearing process in order to provide more complete notice to potentially affected people. The assigned hearing officer accepted this joint request, delaying the hearing process.

For more information about Hilcorp’s application, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click on “oil and gas,” “office of oil and gas management” and then “conservation law.”

Pennsylvanians looking for more information should call 717-772-2199.

About the Author

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fosterk96. More Stories by Kristy Foster Seachrist

One Comment

  1. Maggie Henry says:

    This entire situation is totally out of control and Hilcorp is dictating what DEP does. How crazy is it that DEP was perfectly fine with moving forward with the hearings when the very 4 people who have not signed leases were finally notified by mail Thursday? The list that Hilcorp provided DEP was the one they were using to divide the community, the one with the landowners who have leased and are drooling at the companies talking bpoint of wealth beyond belief. That list did not include the people who had refused to lease. It was only on Friday when they found out that oil and gas giant Shell had lease holdings in Pulaski that the hearings were postponed. Both DEP (Don’t Expect Protection) and Hilcorp were fine with letting ordinary citizens scramble looking for legal representation with only 2 business days before the hearings, but not Shell with teams of lawyers on staff. Hilcorp initiated this land grab the very day they were order by ODNR to stop fracking because they were causing earthquakes in Poland Township. Now, not only is DEP refusing to recognize ODNR’s cease and desist order to protect the citizens forced to live in a toxic dump, they are in cahoot’s with the same quake-causing company to steal land from citizens opposed to being poisoned! Hilcorp has also gerrymandered the “Pulaski Accumulation” to make the claim that 99% favor drilling. If the bordering land holders were included, as they will be if Hilcorp succeeds, that claim would be false just like every other one made by the industry intent on profit with out regard to the cost experienced by the people forced to live in industrial pollution.

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