Geokinetics: Penn Hills permits seismic testing





Penn Hills permits seismic testing

Penn Hills Council flip-flopped Monday, voting to allow seismic testing on municipal-owned property two months after banning it.

In July, the mayor and council members voted to prevent an oil and gas company from performing the tests. Texas-based Geokinetics USA Inc. wanted to do seismic testing on 37 municipal-owned properties, totaling around 390 acres. Council members J-LaVon Kincaid and Gary Underwood abstained from voting.

This time around, council members voted unanimously, 5-0, in favor of the testing. Craig Alexander, Penn Hills’ solicitor, said a potential lawsuit over the matter was not one the municipality could win.

Alexander said he received a letter from an attorney from Steptoe and Johnson, a law firm that specializes in energy, labor & employment, litigation and transactional law, shortly after council voted against seismic testing on municipal properties.

“It was very upsetting for mayor and council, but we believe we had no other choice – we had to present it again,” Mayor Sara Kuhn said during Monday’s meeting.

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