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Environment & Energy

Allegheny County Council Vote Set On Deer Lakes Park Drilling Proposal

Allegheny County Council's Parks Committee has voted 4-1 to have the full council vote next week on a proposal to drill for natural gas under a Pittsburgh-area park.

Wednesday's vote means the 15-member body will vote next Tuesday on a proposal to Range Resources and Huntley & Huntley to drill beneath 1,180-acre Deer Lakes Park from well sites on neighboring private properties.

The proposal includes a $4.7 million bonus for the county, a $3 million donation to a park improvement fund and 18 percent royalties that county officials estimate would generate $3 million.

Range Resources said the wells could produce natural gas for 30 to 40 years.

Opponents have expressed concern about possible groundwater pollution from hydraulic fracturing, or the possibility of well explosions near the park.