“We successfully secured a delay in order to ensure the public was properly informed on this important matter,” DEP Deputy Secretary Scott Perry said. “The postponed hearing sessions will give the department time to personally notify all potentially impacted royalty owners and operators well in advance of the hearing proceedings.”
Hilcorp Energy Co. is applying for a well spacing order that establishes four gas well drilling units on 3,267 acres to drill into the Utica Shale Formation in Pulaski Township, Lawrence County and Shenango Township, Mercer County.
Under the Oil and Gas Conservation Law of 1961, when a spacing order application is submitted, an administrative hearing must be held prior to entering an order establishing well spacing and drilling units.
The first hearing session, originally scheduled to occur on March 25 and March 26, has been rescheduled for May 7 and May 8. The hearing session will begin at 10 a.m. and 9 a.m. respectively and be held at the Albert P. Gettings Government Center Annex of the Lawrence County Government Center, Assembly Room, 349 Countyline St., New Castle.
The first, two-day hearing session will accept testimony, much like a trial, on the spacing order application from DEP, Hilcorp and all property owners and operators in the area subject to the order. The first session will be open for the general public to attend and observe.
The second hearing session will begin at 6 p.m. on May 8, at the same location. As requested previously by DEP, anyone from the general public will have the opportunity to provide input about the application at the second session.
The department will submit a public notice of the rescheduled hearings for publication in local papers at least two weeks prior to the hearing sessions. Although not required by law, DEP also will directly notify all royalty owners and operators within the area subject to the requested order.
On March 21, DEP, along with Hilcorp, requested a delay in the hearing process in order to provide more complete notice to potentially affected people. The assigned hearing officer accepted this joint request, delaying the hearing process.
For more information about Hilcorp’s application, visit http://www.dep.state.pa.us
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