DEP Suspends Review of Troubled Edgar Thomson Fracking Well

Advocates press Lt. Gov. Fetterman to stand up for community

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Climate and Energy

For Immediate Release

This afternoon, the Department of Environmental Protection posted a letter notifying Merrion Oil & Gas that it had ceased review of the company’s proposal to drill a fracking well at the Edgar Thomson Steel plant in East Pittsburgh. 

The proposal has been met with years of intense community opposition, and the company — which has never drilled a well in the state — has made a series of major errors in previous permit applications. 

The DEP letter notes that the Borough of East Pittsburgh has rescinded a conditional use permit for the project, and that the town’s Zoning Hearing Board rejected the company’s appeal of that decision. Given these developments, the company has no zoning authority to move forward.

“Since the day Merrion’s fracking plan was announced, this community has fought to stop this project. We know all too well the dangers of fracking, and folks in the Mon Valley are sick and tired of sacrificing the health and safety of their families for the sake of fossil fuel companies,” said Food & Water Watch Pennsylvania State Director Megan McDonough. “Community leaders have made sure that local political leaders are working to protect their constituents from an outrageously dangerous plan to drill a new fracking well in a densely-populated community. It’s time that our state’s political leadership, especially Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, speak up against an out-of-state drilling company that keeps trying to bully a small town in court.”

“This is a true testament to all of the hard work and dedication by community members fighting for so long to protect this region that we call home,” said Edith Abeyta of North Braddock Residents For Our Future. “The time has come for those on the frontlines all across the state to recognize that true power exists when people join together and standing up to these giants is not impossible. These historic victories should show Merrion that they can keep trying, but we will keep winning.”