A representative of the company that has leased a potential Marcellus Shale drilling site in Logan Township told township supervisors and residents Thursday that no activity is anticipated on the site through the end of the year.
The state-issued drilling permit for the site near Coupon, near the border of Blair and Cambria counties, expires today.
"Chevron at this time has no plans to pursue a new permit or to renew the permit that is existing," Mikal Zimmerman, a Chevron policy, government and public affairs representative said. "And there are no plans anticipated through the end of the year for activity on our behalf in Logan Township."
Area residents asked supervisors to consider actions that will put some controls on an industry prompting environmental concerns and criticism.
Altoona resident Corrine Green said her research has found several municipalities and states with concerns linked to Marcellus Shale drilling sites. The Logan Township drilling site is north of the watershed that supplies water to Altoona and surrounding areas.
"That's over 100,000 people," she said.
Wayne Nelms told the supervisors that he was glad to hear of Chevron's lack of plans for this year.
"Still, there's concerns as to when they will begin to activate this well site," he said.
Supervisor Frank Meloy pledged to monitor Marcellus Shale-related developments and the township's authority, which at this point is limited, with most of the control handled by the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Under Act 13, the state legislation governing Marcellus Shale drilling, municipalities have limited authority, township solicitor Daniel Stants said.
The act is facing a court challenge, but that "is going to take a while," Stants said.
The municipalities challenging Act 13 as unconstitutional claim it hinders their ability to craft zoning rules for gas drilling, thereby leaving them unable to protect their residents.
Chevron expects to be working in Pennsylvania for decades and to maintain its heritage as one of the safest operators in the global industry, Zimmerman said.
Supervisor Joe Metzgar said he expects to keep an open mind on the matter and remains interested in what options the township has to protect its residents.
Meloy mentioned that Blair County Conservation District Director Donna Fisher is interested in organizing a municipal study group.