[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Kidder 3-17-2011 by Ord. No. 148. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- COMPRESSOR STATION
- A facility designed and constructed to compress natural gas and/or oil that originates from a gas and/or oil well or collection of such wells operating as a midstream facility for delivery of gas and/or oil to a transmission pipeline, distribution pipeline, processing plant or underground storage field, including one or more natural gas and/or oil compressors, associated buildings, pipes, valves, tanks and other equipment.
- MONITORING WELL
- A nonpumping well, generally of small diameter, that is used to measure the elevation of a water table or water quality. A piezometer, which is open only at the top and bottom of its casing, is one type of monitoring well. A well used to obtain water quality samples or measure groundwater levels.
- NATURAL GAS PROCESSING PLANT
- A facility designed and constructed to remove materials such as ethane, propane, butane and other constituents or similar substances from natural gas to allow such natural gas to be of such quality as is required or appropriate for transmission or distribution to commercial markets but not including facilities or equipment that are/is designed and constructed primarily to remove water, water vapor, oil or naturally occurring liquids from natural gas.
- OIL AND GAS DEVELOPMENT
- The well site preparations, well site construction, drilling, hydraulic fracturing and/or site restoration associated with an oil and/or gas well of any depth; water and other fluid storage, impoundment and transportation used for such activities; and the installment and use of all associated equipment, including tanks, meters and other equipment and structures whether permanent or temporary; and the site preparation construction, installment, maintenance and repair of oil and gas pipelines and associated equipment and other equipment and activities associated with the exploration for, production and transportation of oil and gas, other than compressor stations and natural gas processing plants or facilities performing the equivalent functions, that operate as midstream facilities are only authorized consistent with Kidder Township Zoning Ordinance as a conditional use.
- PROTECTED STRUCTURE
- Any occupied residence, commercial, business, school, religious institution or other public building located within 1,000 feet of the surface location of an oil or gas well, including structures such as garages and barns or other accessory buildings and structures which may be impacted by noise generated from drilling or hydraulic fracturing activity at a well site. The term shall not include any structure owned by an oil or gas lessor who has signed a lease with the operator granting surface rights to drill the subject well or whose owner (or occupants) has (have) signed a waiver relieving the operator from implementation of the measures established in this chapter for the owner's (occupant's) benefit.
- WELL SITE
- A graded pad designed and constructed for the drilling of one or more oil and/or gas wells.
Prior to the commencement of drilling:
The operator shall comply with any applicable bonding and permitting requirements for Township roads that are to be used by overweight vehicles and equipment for development activities. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the operator/applicant shall take all necessary corrective action and measures as directed by the Township to ensure the roadways are repaired within seven days of partial damage or destruction.
The operator shall provide to the Township's first responders, including fire departments, Fire Commission, Police Department, ambulance, and Kidder Township Emergency Management Officer, a copy of its preparedness, prevention and contingency (PPC) plan.
The Township shall ascertain whether the Township's first responders have secured adequate training to deal with any potential dangerous conditions that may result due to development activities. First responders shall have a minimum of five hours of training per year to meet this standard. Upon request from the Township, the operator will, prior to drilling of its first oil and gas well in the Township, make available with at least 30 days' notice, at its sole cost and expense, one appropriate group training program of a minimum of five hours for first responders. Such training shall be made available by the operator at least annually during the period when the operator anticipates drilling activities in the Township.
Prior to drilling an oil and gas well or multiple oil and gas wells at a location, the operator shall provide the following information to each resident within 1,000 feet of the planned surface location of the well(s):
A copy of the well survey plan showing the location(s) of the planned well(s);
A general description of the planned operation at the planned well(s) and associated equipment used in the development of the well(s);
The contact information for the operator; and
The availability of the operator to hold a meeting with such residents to present operator's plans for the well(s) and to allow for questions and answers. The meeting(s) shall be held prior to well site construction.
Domestic wells. Prior to operation, the applicant/operator shall be required to conduct, at no cost to affected well owners, a preextraction survey of each domestic well situate on each adjoining property and on each property located within 1,000 feet of each site property line.
The survey will consist of collecting baseline data from well logs, where available, measurement of water level and well depth and standard water quality testing measuring among other factors, including hardness, color, odor, pH, bacteria, nitrates, sulfates, petroleum, and total dissolved solids (tds).
The survey will be limited to those domestic well owners who provide consent to the survey within 30 days of receiving a certified letter request from the applicant.
These tests shall determine the following baseline data for comparison with similar data to be monitored during extraction operations.
Copies of existing well logs for all wells located within 1,000 feet of the site.
A well complaint resolution program shall be prepared and submitted to the Township, which specifies the procedures the applicant is committed to follow in resolving any domestic water well complaints. The Township shall review the program and, if necessary, require amendments to the program prior to acceptance.
At least seven days prior to commencement of drilling, the operator shall provide to the Township Zoning Officer a copy of the drilling permit issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Kidder Township fire departments shall be provided a list of all chemical or waste products used or produced by the oil or gas drilling operation.
The Township shall be provided the name of the person supervising the drilling operation and a phone number where such person can be reached 24 hours a day.
The applicant shall provide certification that a bond is held by the PA DEP (Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection) to ensure proper plugging when the well is classified as inactive by the PA DEP.
The applicant shall provide a schedule indicating the following dates:
Site preparation beginnings and endings.
Anticipated drilling activity beginnings and endings.
Anticipated completion (perforating) work to begin and end.
Anticipated stimulation (fracturing) work to begin and end.
Anticipated production work to begin and end.
Anticipated plugging date.
In addition to complying with the Zoning Ordinance and the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, the operator/applicant shall appear at a public meeting of the Township Board of Supervisors at least 30 days prior to the commencing of drilling activities to inform the Township of its intention to commence drilling.
During the process of oil and gas development, the following site standards shall be maintained by the operator at all times:
No portion of any drilling device, equipment or facility of any kind, including storage, shall be closer than 1,000 feet to an adjacent property line.
The operator shall take all necessary safeguards as directed by the Township to ensure the Township roads utilized remain free of dirt, mud and debris resulting from development activities and/or shall ensure such roads are promptly swept or cleaned if dirt, mud and debris occur.
The operator shall take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of persons in areas established for road crossing and/or adjacent to roadways (for example: persons waiting for public or school transportation). As directed by the Township, during periods of anticipated heavy or frequent truck traffic associated with development, the operator will provide flagmen to ensure the safety of children at or near schools or school bus stops and include adequate signs and/or other warning measures for truck traffic and vehicular traffic.
At the operator's expense, annual well testing shall be performed on domestic and monitoring wells in accordance with standards jointly established by the Township's designated expert and the operator's expert, taking into consideration the type and level of extractive activities which have taken place on the site during the preceding year. The results of the testing shall be filed with the Township Board of Supervisors within 60 days of the date of testing. The parameters must be tested annually, and a comparison made with the baseline water quality data. Additional testing at the operator's expense shall be required by the Township to better assess any potential risks if concerns regarding water quality or quantity are raised by or uncovered in the annual testing.
No construction activities involving excavation of, alteration to, or repair work on any access road or well site shall be performed during the hours of 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Noise. No operation or activity shall cause or create noise in excess of the sound levels prescribed below:
Residential districts. At no point beyond the boundary of any lot within these districts shall the exterior noise level resulting from any use or activity located on such lot exceed a maximum of 60 dBA for more than four hours during a twenty-four-hour equivalent period.
Commercial districts. At no point on or beyond the boundary of any lot within these districts shall the exterior noise level resulting from any use or activity located on such lot exceed a maximum of 65 dBA for more than eight hours during a twenty-four-hour period.
Industrial districts. At no point on or beyond the boundary of any lot within these districts shall the exterior noise level resulting from any use or activity located on such lot exceed a maximum of 75 dBA for more than eight hours during a twenty-four-hour equivalent period.
Where two or more zoning districts in which different noise levels are prescribed share a common boundary, the most restrictive noise level standards shall govern.
In addition to the above regulations, all uses and activities within the Township shall conform to all applicable county, state and federal regulations contained herein and if they are at variance with any other lawfully adopted rules or requirements of the Township, the more restrictive shall govern.
The Township reserves the right to require the temporary or permanent erection and use of reasonable sound barriers.
The access driveway off the public road to the drill site shall be gated at the entrance to prevent illegal access into the drill site. The drill site assigned address shall be clearly visible on the access gate for emergency 911 purposes. In addition, the sign shall include the well name and number, name of the operator and the telephone number for a responsible person who may be contacted in case of emergency. It shall be illegal for any person, owner or operator to park or store any vehicle or item of machinery on any street, right-of-way or in any driveway, alley or upon any operation or drilling site which constitutes a fire hazard or an obstruction to or interference with fighting or controlling fires except that equipment which is necessary for the maintenance of the well site or for gathering or transportation of hydrocarbon substances from the site.
Dust, vibration, odors. All drilling operations shall be conducted in such a manner to minimize dust, vibration or noxious odors and shall be in accordance with the best accepted practices incident to drilling for oil or gas in urban/suburban and rural areas. All equipment used shall be constructed and operated so that vibrations, dust, odor or other harmful or annoying effects are minimized by the operations carried on at the drill site to avoid injury to or annoyance of persons living in the vicinity.
All drill site pads and off-site fracture ponds shall be secured with a temporary fence with a secured gate as follows:
After any spill, leak or malfunction, the operator shall remove or cause to be removed to the satisfaction of the Township officials and the PA DEP inspectors, all waste materials from any public or private property affected by such spill, leak or malfunction. Clean-up operations must begin immediately upon knowledge that a spill, leak or malfunction occurs.
The public street entrance and the property on which a drill site is located shall at all times be kept free of mud, debris, trash or other waste materials. Use of streets serving exclusively residential neighborhoods is prohibited.
The facility and/or its operation shall comply with all applicable permits and requirements of the PA DEP, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and any other governmental authority having jurisdiction over its operations and with all federal, state, and local laws, ordinances and regulations promulgated to protect the environment or otherwise relating to environmental matters.
If a complaint is received by the Township from any person, using a protected structure for any lawful purpose, within 1,000 feet from the wellhead or equipment, regarding noise generated during drilling or hydraulic fracturing activities, the operator shall, within 48 hours of receipt of the complaint from the Township, continuously monitor for a forty-eight-hour period at a point which is the closer to the complainant's building:
The complainant's protected structure property line nearest to the well site or equipment generating the noise; or
One hundred feet from the protected structure. In order for the Township to appropriately enforce the conditions imposed by this chapter, to make certain that the health, safety and welfare of its citizens are met and to determine if the use remains compatible with various zoning districts in the Township, the operator will provide the final results to the Township within 10 business days of the operator's receipt of those final results.
Compliance shall be determined in accordance with the acceptable decibel levels as set forth in § 180-57.5J of the Zoning Ordinance.
Any internal combustion engine or compressor used in connection with the drilling of any well or for use on any production equipment or used in development shall be equipped with an exhaust muffler or an exhaust box. The exhaust muffler or exhaust box shall be constructed of noncombustible materials designed and installed to suppress noise and disruptive vibrations. Moreover, all such equipment with an exhaust muffler or exhaust box shall be maintained in good operating condition according to manufacturer's specifications.
The operator shall provide and maintain a fund to the Township, the sum of $5,000, which represents an account from which the Township may draw or be reimbursed for the administrative inspection and engineering costs and fees for review and inspections to ensure compliance with this chapter. This amount may be adjusted from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. Any costs over and above the aforesaid initial fund incurred by the Township shall be reimbursed to the Township along with a ten-percent administrative and overhead charge within 30 days of invoicing by the Township. The fund shall require remittances within 10 days of issuance of written notice from the Township to maintain a balance of $5,000.
After drilling is complete, the operator shall clean the site, complete all restoration activities and repair any damage to public property caused by such operations within 60 days. A detailed reclamation plan shall be provided showing that the entire property will be left in a form for development with uses that are permitted in the district, relating the reuse to existing uses or probable uses for surrounding properties and shall provide:
Proposed topography at contour intervals to provide adequate grading information, subject to the Township Engineer's recommendation at the pre-application meeting, with five feet being the minimum.
Schedule of progressive rehabilitation.
After mining is completed on one specified area, quadrant, or cell, reclamation shall follow progressively in reasonable stages set forth in the plan before mining continues on other areas of the site. Extraction areas which are inactive for over one year must be stabilized and slopes reduced to one vertical foot to seven horizontal feet, if feasible.
All rehabilitation activity shall be in compliance with soil erosion and sedimentation requirements of the Environmental Protection Act, MCL 394.9101 et seq., Part 91 as defined.
Proposed ground cover and other plantings to stabilize the soil surface and to beautify the restored area, as well as to protect from erosion and siltation.
Concept plan(s) for the proposed end use of the site when restored, including a plan for residential use, drawn to scale, and prepared by a professional engineer, licensed architect, or licensed landscape architect. The concept shall include:
The proposed circulation system, including the location of internal roads and connection to the external road network.
Delineation of drainage patterns, identification of lakes, floodplains, wetlands, and conceptual layout of lots (if residential is proposed).
A description of the provisions for obtaining necessary permits and approvals for the future use(s).
The use proposed in the concept plan must be acceptable to the Township Board based on the recommendation of the Planning Commission and a review of the zoning district, Township Master Plan, surrounding land uses, and site characteristics.
A landfill or other disposal or refuse site will not be considered a suitable or satisfactory use.
When the proposed future use, as deemed appropriate by the Township Board, includes residential units or other uses requiring the use of septic fields, the applicant shall provide a description of the construction and rehabilitation techniques that will be met, including:
A description of methods and materials to be used in restoring the site.
The proposed date for completing all extraction operations and handling of all spoils and extraneous materials.
The date for completing the final restoration.
A list of all seeding and planting materials, which must be of native stock.
Any operator or person performing work at their direction who violates or permits a violation of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Township before a Magisterial District Judge, pay a fine of not more than $1,500, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the Township in the enforcement of this chapter. No judgment shall be imposed until the date of the determination of the violation by the Magisterial District Judge. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable Rules of Civil Procedure. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. Further, the appropriate officers or agents of the Township are hereby authorized to issue a cease and desist notice and/or to seek equitable relief, including injunction, to enforce compliance herewith. No bond will be required if injunctive relief is sought by the Township. A person who violates this chapter shall also be responsible for the Township's attorneys' fees, engineering fees, expert fees and court costs associated with enforcement.