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Injection well process draws ire of PA township

Plus: Court says Penn State can buy the fraternity house where a student died in hazing incident.

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October 19, 2023
Inside this edition: Rural township wants to make it easier for other places in Pa. to fight injection wells, upcoming free election events, and a quiet settlement in the governor’s office.
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Real quick: An oil and gas company withdrew an injection well application in Potter County after public outcry, but local officials argue the state’s review process should change, Spotlight PA Rural Affairs Reporter Marley Parish reports.

A little more: An oil and gas company recently withdrew its application to inject liquids deep underground in rural Clara Township, a win for officials and residents who feared groundwater pollution and health risks.

The experience with the state agency responsible for approving or rejecting such applications has left locals pushing for changes to the process.

Supervisors Steven Mehl and Robert Wylie represent the roughly 120 residents of Clara Township, located in Potter County. They told Spotlight PA they didn’t learn about the proposed well from the company as required, and had to push the state Department of Environmental Protection to hold a public meeting, as that’s not mandatory.

Mehl and Wylie also believe the township — which employs only four part-time employees, according to Mehl — and its residents didn’t have enough time to learn about the application and respond.

That’s why they took matters into their own hands by petitioning county officials, asking for help from state lawmakers, and repeatedly requesting that the DEP reject the application.

It was “an incredible amount of work and a lot of sleepless nights,” Mehl told Spotlight PA.

“The process is broken,” he added.

The full story: Read more here.

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Daniel Fishel / For Spotlight PA
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A late-day sun spotlights a tree against a dark sky in Ferguson Township, Centre County — via John D.

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» CDT: PA court affirms Penn State can buy former Beta Theta Pi house
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» Mirror: Altoona school district asked to address pay cut
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» Oct. 19-21: Tempest Productions presents Edgar Allan Poe Speak Easy, an “immersive experience,” at Pine Grove Hall in Centre County.

» Oct. 20-21: Austin Dam Memorial Park in Potter County will be eerily transformed for the Terrifying Trail event.

» Oct. 21: See pumpkins catapulted into the lake at Bald Eagle State Park, Centre County, at the annual Punkin’ Chunkin’ Fall Festival

» Oct. 21: WPSU hosts Eventapalooza at Penn State’s Innovation Park featuring crafts and games for children ages 3-10.

» Oct. 22: Titan Hollow in Bellefonte, Centre County, hosts Sip and Shop Spooktacular with more than 20 local craft vendors, live music, cider and cocktails, and more.

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