The undersigned representatives of environmental and citizens organizations are members of the Pennsylvania-based Protect Our Children Coalition (www.protectourchildrencoalition.org), which is dedicated to protecting school children from the health risks of shale gas drilling and infrastructure. We are writing to you concerning MarkWest Liberty Midstream and Resource’s Conditional Use Permit to construct a compressor station near Routes 980 and 50 in Cecil Township.
We applaud the Zoning Board for including conditions in the permit that are designed to reduce pollution and protect quality of life for the residents of Cecil Township. Doing so reflects both the substance and spirit of the Township’s Ordinance providing for the zoning of natural gas compressor stations, adopted in 2011. As determined by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2013 with regard to Act 13 (the Oil and Gas Act), municipalities have the right to adopt and uphold local ordinances pertaining to oil and gas operations.
We strongly encourage you to stand firm on the two key conditions that MarkWest is now seeking to overturn: the use of electric engines and air quality testing at the site both prior to and during operations.
We believe such conditions to be reasonable and necessary for protecting public health. We also believe that the elimination of these conditions from MarkWest’s permit would signal support for the company’s interest in convenience and cost savings over the public’s interest in clean air and health. Following are detailed comments and information related to the need to uphold these conditions.