Hazleton Pennsylvania officials begin investigation of mineral rights:
Although Marcellus Shale gas drilling hasn’t made its way into Greater Hazleton, the Hazleton City Authority will investigate whether it has mineral rights for the roughly 7,000 acres it owns and steps needed for preserving the watershed. Chairman Phil Andras said he raised the issue of mineral rights at a recent authority board of directors meeting to continue an ongoing dialogue about natural gas drilling.
News articles published earlier this month about almost 1,500 Marcellus Shale drilling violations prompted Andras to ask the authority and solicitor Pete O’Donnell to review mineral rights issues. “I wanted to spend some time learning more about the process and about the protections with the state and federal (environmental agencies),” Andras said. “I’ve been reading the (news) articles and many of them are about violations – some 1,500 violations. Storm water runoff and draining are the kind of things we’d be concerned with.”