Cecil Township to Amend Oil and Gas Ordinance on April 3rd

On Monday March 4th, CCJ Organizer Jodi Borello and Organizing Director Heaven Sensky attended a Cecil Township Supervisors Meeting alongside Janice Blanock, a CCJ member and co-organizer of the group MAD-FACTS (Moms and Dads – Family Awareness of Cancer Threat Spike).

The supervisors were slated to discuss and vote on the prospect of holding a Public Hearing on Wednesday, April 3rd for amendments related to the township’s Oil and Gas Ordinance. In addition, the township was expected to vote on consideration of filing a lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County for equitable and injunctive relief against Range Resources as a result of the operator not making a good faith effort to mitigate the nuisance of excessive noise from their operations, as cited by residents.

The supervisors heard from many residents living near two different Range Resources well pads in Cecil Township. They described excessive, ongoing noise and constant vibrations from the site that was impacting their families and keeping them up at all hours of the night for weeks on end. The residents expressed reaching out to Range and attempting to work with the operator to limit the impact by utilizing electric generators rather than diesel generators (as the operator has done in the past). Range has not made this change, and residents have paid the price with sleepless nights, tired children, and an inability to utilize the space outdoors (and indoors) of their own homes. 

Residents also shared concerns over the negative health impacts of these operations on their children. Many residents live within 1,500 feet of Range’s operations in Cecil Township and have private water supplies. Residents cited concern over high rates of volatile organic compounds, as cited in Range’s own air monitoring data, and increased truck traffic on backroads posing both a nuisance and safety concerns for what were once quiet country roads.

The township voted on Monday, March 4th to give Range Resources seven days to implement changes to mitigate excessive noise. Failure to do so would result in Cecil Township filing a lawsuit against Range for the reasons mentioned above. It is unclear what actions Range and the township will take moving forward, but residents’ concerns are ongoing and Range’s disruptions are ongoing.  They also voted in favor of holding a public hearing to help determine what additional amendments will be added to the township oil and gas ordinance.

Event Information

What: There will be a hearing to amend the Oil and Gas ordinance for Cecil township  in which residents will have the opportunity to express their concerns and have them be put on the record in support of updating the ordinance to better protect their families.

When: Wednesday, April 3rd at 6:00 PM

Where: Cecil Township Building – 3599 Millers Run Rd, Cecil, PA 15321

CCJ and MAD-FACTS families are hopeful that the new draft ordinance will implement changes to Cecil’s existing ordinance in an effort to proactively require that operators mitigate these types of nuisances like noise, air, and water concerns. 

CCJ and MAD-FACTS will be in attendance in an effort to support members in Cecil Township working toward securing healthier communities for their families. We hope that you’ll be able to join us at the hearing at 6:00 PM. 

If you are interested in this issue and are looking for more information, or if you would like to work toward improving your own township’s ordinances, reach out to Heaven Sensky at Heaven@centerforcoalfieldjustice.org

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