Allegheny County Council is set to consider a lucrative deal to allow Range Resources to drill for natural gas beneath a Pittsburgh-area park, from well sites on neighboring private properties.
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald outlined the deal at a news conference Monday, saying it includes a $4.7 million bonus, a $3 million donation to a park improvement fund, and 18 percent royalties that are estimated to generate $3 million a year.
Opponents of drilling beneath Deer Lakes Park, which is about 15 miles northeast of the city, are especially concerned about fracking, in which chemically treated water is used to break up underground shale formations to access the gas. They contend fracking and drilling can contaminate nearby ground water.
Fitzgerald says Range has agreed to test surface water beyond safeguards mandated by the state.