Allegheny County posts lease for gas drilling beneath Deer Lakes Park

Allegheny County posted the lease for gas drilling beneath Deer Lakes Park to its website today.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced last week that the county had reached an agreement with Range Resources and Huntley & Huntley to drill for gas beneath the park.

The proposed lease calls for the county to receive a bonus payment of $4.7 million, as well as an additional $3 million that will go to a parks improvement fund for the county's nine parks. The county will also receive 18 percent in royalties, which the county has estimated will equal $3 million annually.

No drilling will happen on the surface of the park. Instead, horizontal wells will reach beneath the parks' 1,180 acres, from three well pads on private property outside the boundaries of the park.

Mr. Fitzgerald announced the lease in a news conference March 17, and again when he addressed county council March 18.

Legislation regarding the lease is expected to be introduced to the county council agenda at their next meeting April 8.

Council members and county residents requested to see the lease after Mr. Fitzgerald spoke at the last council meeting.

A spokeswoman for the county said the lease was released to council members late this afternoon.

The 81-page lease and accompanying exhibits can be viewed on the county executive's web page.

Mr. Fitzgerald will hold a public meeting and information session on the drilling proposal at 7 p.m. April 2 at Deer Lakes High School.

Kaitlynn Riely: or 412-263-1707.

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