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Airport Authority, Consol Energy to Release Drill Plan

The Allegheny County Airport Authority and Consol Energy will unveil the plan to drill for oil and natural gas at Pittsburgh International Airport during a public workshop Tuesday.

Representatives from the airport authority and Consol Energy will answer questions about the plan and its environmental impact.

The workshop is meant to provide residents with more information about the oil and gas development plans, the environmental assessment, the drilling schedule and process.

But airport authority spokeswoman JoAnn Jenny said it’s not an open forum.

“It’s not going to be like a public hearing setting where people stand up at a microphone and make remarks,” she said. “It’s a workshop, whereas there’s going to be different stations set up that explain all the different aspects of the drilling process.”

The county and the energy giant struck a deal in February, when Consol Energy agreed to pay an estimated $500 million over the next 20 years for the right to drill for shale gas on 9,263 acres surrounding the airport.

Jenny said the meeting is a way to include the surrounding municipalities in the discussion.

“We know that there’s been a lot of curiosity about this project and I think that our neighbors in Moon and Findlay Township are curious about what to expect and we are really here to answer those questions and to tell them what the game plan’s going to be,” she said.

The workshop will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott.

All questions and submitted comments will be compiled in an environmental assessment document.

The Erie, PA native has been a fellow in the WESA news department since May 2013. Having earned a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Duquesne University, he is now pursuing an M.A. in multi-media management. Michael describes his career aspiration as "I want to do it all in journalism."