[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Crescent 8-8-2013 by Ord. No. 545. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person, entity, business or corporation seeking to perform energy source operations within the municipal boundaries of Crescent Township.
- ENERGY SOURCE OPERATIONS
- Those operations that involve the transmittal of seismic waves to model the geophysical properties of the earth's crust.
- MUNICIPAL AUTHORITY
- Any water or sewer authority providing said service to areas within the municipal boundaries of the Township.
- The Township of Crescent, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
- TOWNSHIP ENGINEER
- The Engineer appointed by the Township to act as its agent with regard to this chapter.
It shall be unlawful for any person, entity, business or corporation to conduct any surveying/exploration activities within the Township pertaining to oil, gas, and/or other geologic materials by the use of energy source operations, including, without limitation, drilling shot holes, weight drops, explosives, and/or vibrating machines, vibroseis equipment, thumper trucks or any other vehicles or equipment that causes vibrations, without first obtaining a permit therefor from the Township.
Application for a permit hereunder shall be made with the Township of Crescent and reviewed by the Crescent Township Engineer. Such application shall contain the following information:
Name of the applicant;
Address of the applicant;
The property owner's name and tax parcel number;
The type of explosives or other geophysical methods of mineral exploration to be used, and the purposes therefore;
A map designating a testing area and showing the location of all points of use and the energy source to be used at each point;
A traffic control plan for any operations or testing that will impede or redirect traffic on a public right-of-way;
The applicant's insurance information, including the name of applicant's insurance carrier, the types and amount of insurance covering its proposed operations, the name and telephone number of an individual to contact in case of a claim for personal injury or property damage, and the procedure for obtaining a copy of the applicant's certificate of insurance;
Proof of the right or license to handle explosives in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
Documentation that soils information for the region has been reviewed and identifications of areas where special precautions are to be taken regarding landslide prone areas or other areas designated as sensitive soil conditions; and
Other pertinent information as required herein.
The application shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable permit fee calculated as follows: $1,500. In the event that the actual costs incurred by the Borough exceed the sum of $1,500 for processing the application and preparing the permit, then in that event, those additional costs shall be imposed on the applicant and no permit shall be issued until said costs are paid in full.
The application must also include a report prepared by the applicant showing all Township and municipal authority facilities and infrastructure, as well as all utilities and infrastructure owned by others that may be negatively affected by the proposed activity located in the testing area shown in such application. All costs associated with the preparation of said report shall be borne by the applicant. Such report and the application shall then be submitted to the Township for review by the Township Engineer and subsequent submittal to the Commissioners. Every municipal authority and other organization or entity that owns and/or operates facilities that are noted in the report as being susceptible to negative affect shall be provided with a copy of the report no later than the time it is submitted to the Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners will consider the applicant's request at the next public meeting if the Board has the report at least 10 days before the meeting. If not, the Board will consider the applicant's request at the following public meeting. No permit shall be issued except upon approval of the Township Commissioners.
The term of a permit issued under this chapter shall be for 18 months beginning on the date of approval of the permit by the Board of Commissioners, and all energy source operations shall be completed within said term. The applicant shall notify the Township Engineer a minimum of three business days in advance of the actual commencement of energy source operations.
All geophysical operations shall be limited to the areas approved by the Township Board of Commissioners and depicted on the map submitted by the applicant and kept at the Township building. A copy of such map shall be attached to any permit issued by the Township. If, during the course of operations, all or a portion of any infrastructure, utility line or related facility must be relocated to maintain compliance with the terms and conditions set forth herein or to ensure the safety of the general population, such relocation shall only be conducted with the written approval of the owner and operator of the infrastructure, utility line or related facility. The applicant shall notify the Township Engineer or his designee at least three business days prior to the commencement of work on any such relocation, which shall be performed in compliance with any and all applicable laws, rules, regulations and standards and at no cost to the Township, municipal authority or other owner or operator of the relocated or affected infrastructure, utility line or related facility. In those cases where public utilities such as water and sanitary sewer services are impacted, work may be delayed if those services are to be disrupted and temporary services must be provided. Temporary service provisions will be planned by the applicant and approved by the Township/municipal authority, and all costs for providing temporary services will be paid by the applicant.
The applicant shall provide the Township with the complete resume of the project manager detailing his/her experience and education in seismic operations, years and types of work in the field of seismic operations and identifying all previous seismic operations overseen by the project manager. Said project manager shall be on the job site during the entire period of testing to mitigate any potential damage to public or private property. The applicant shall also designate a point of contact who will respond within 24 hours to any request from the Township Engineer or his designee for information regarding the applicant's testing operations, including a request for maps of the testing area that show the points of use as planned, prepared by or on behalf of the Township that indicate subsurface structures or facilities; provided, however, that the applicant's reliance on any information furnished by the Township, its agents, representatives, and employees, whether written or verbal, shall be at the sole risk of the applicant with the following agreed upon disclaimer:
"Applicant acknowledges that the Township has not made any independent investigation or verification of information regarding subsurface structures and facilities furnished to applicant and makes no representation or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of such information. Applicant expressly acknowledges that the Township makes no warranty or representation, expressed or implied, or arising by operation of law, including, but not limited to, any warranty of fitness for a particular use or purpose of such subsurface information."
All Township and applicable municipal authority (water and sewage) owned structures, buildings, wastewater treatment facilities, pump stations, including but not limited to susceptible underground utilities (water mains, sewer mains, etc.), shall have pre- and post-testing inspections paid for by the applicant if subjected to a peak particle velocity greater than 0.35 inch per second. The Township and/or applicable municipal authority shall have the option of receiving reimbursement of its actual cost of performing said inspections or having the inspections done by a third-party firm approved by the Township and/or municipal authority and hired by the applicant. Any reimbursement provided by this section shall be paid to the Township within 30 days following the applicant's receipt of an invoice from the Township.
Energy source testing may be conducted from 8:00 a.m. until the earlier of sunset or 7:00 p.m. local time, on Mondays through Fridays, and from 9:00 a.m. until the earlier of sunset or 7:00 p.m. local time, on Saturday and Sunday.
The applicant shall restore, at its own cost, Township-owned lands, roadways or rights-of-way used in its operations to the original condition just prior to the testing operations, free of damage, including ruts or any injury to landscaping. An excess maintenance agreement may, at the sole discretion of the Township, be required for any such testing operations. The applicant shall restore, at its own cost, municipal authority-owned infrastructure, including water and sewer lines, structures, facilities and related appurtenances.
The applicant shall ensure that its operations will not interfere with the free and safe flow of traffic. When operations are immediately adjacent to the pavement, all equipment shall be parked and/or operated in one lane of traffic.
The applicant shall notify the Township Engineer of any equipment to be operated on Township streets that will exceed the maximum posted weight limit or 10 tons, whichever is greater, and obtain any special permitting required.
Cables placed on the pavement within rights-of-way must be arranged so they do not create a hazardous condition or rumble strip effect. All cables must be securely anchored to the roadway with materials that will not damage and/or puncture the pavement. Nails, spikes, and similar materials used for anchors shall not be placed inside the pavement edge.
Each testing crew performing work that impedes the flow of traffic, such as testing on Township streets or rights-of-way, shall be accompanied by a certified peace officer provided by the applicant. The applicant shall furnish at its cost adequate signs, barricades, flares, flagmen, etc., as necessary, to protect the traveling public.
The applicant shall furnish to the Township's Engineer, or his designee, a schedule of each week's test plans. If thumper trucks are utilized on Township roads, which will require permission of the Township, the Township Engineer shall inspect the road before and after testing. The applicant shall pay any and all costs incurred by the Township as a result of these inspections.
All vibroseis or weight drop operations shall be conducted a minimum distance of 150 feet from any building, which shall mean a structure built for the support, shelter, or enclosure of persons, chattel, or movable property of any kind and which is affixed to the land. No charge test shall be detonated within 300 feet of any building, water well, or underground hazardous waste storage/disposal site. The applicant will provide multiple monitoring of any charge testing within 600 feet of any occupied building.
The applicant shall maintain and make available upon request to the Township, for a period of two years, the daily log of energy source tests showing date, location, energy source used, drive level, operator, and all other related information, including seismic and pre- and post-test survey.
No energy source operation shall subject any building intended for human habitation, utility line, water well, or underground hazardous waste storage/disposal site to a peak particle velocity greater than 0.5 inch per second.
Explosives shall be transported in constantly attended type-three magazines as defined by Section 1902.4.7 of the 1994 Standard Fire Prevention Code. All vehicles transporting explosives will be placarded according to Regulation of Hazardous Materials, 49 CFR. Only the necessary amount of explosives for each day's operations, during such period as the permit is in effect, shall be transported within the Township at any given time. No explosives shall be stored within the corporate Township limits, unless approved by the Township's Fire Chief. If such storage is approved, explosives must be stored in a locked and secure, constantly attended type-two magazine, as defined by Section 1902.4.6 of the 1994 Standard Fire Prevention Code, at a single, isolated, and sparsely populated location.
The applicant shall notify the Township's Engineer, or designee, within 24 hours after the occurrence of any violation of these permit requirements. The Township Engineer is hereby authorized to issue stop work orders for any violation of the provisions contained in this chapter.
The applicant shall submit to the Township a performance bond in the amount of $250,000 from a surety authorized to do business in the state. The performance bond shall be valid for a period of two years from the date that the permit is issued. The bond shall provide, but not be limited to, the following condition: there shall be recoverable by the Township, jointly and severally from the principal and surety, any and all damages, loss or costs suffered by the Township in connection with the applicant's geophysical operations within the Township. The bond shall contain the following endorsement: "It is hereby understood and agreed that this bond may not be canceled by the surety company until sixty (60) days after receipt by the Township, by registered mail or written notice, of such intent to cancel or not to renew." The rights reserved to the Township with respect to the bond are in addition to all other rights of the Township, and no action, proceeding or exercise of a right with respect to such bond shall affect any other rights of the Township.
Prior to conducting any operations hereunder, the applicant and/or its contractors shall furnish a certificate of insurance to the Township showing the Township as an additional insured with respect to operations conducted within the Township and showing liability insurance coverage covering commercial, personal injury, and general liability in amounts not less than $1,000,000 per person, $3,000,000 per occurrence, and $1,000,000 property damage.
The applicant shall protect, indemnify, defend and hold the Township, its officers, employees, agents, and representatives harmless from and against all claims, demands, and causes of action of every kind and character for injury to, or death of, any person or persons, damages, liabilities, losses, and/or expenses, occurring or in any way incident to, arising out of or in connection with its or its contractors', agents', or representatives' operations under this permit, including attorneys' fees, and any other costs and expenses incurred by the Township in defending against any such claims, demands, and causes of action. Within 30 days of receipt of same, the applicant shall notify the Township, in writing, of each claim for injuries to of death of persons or damages or losses to property occurring or in any way incident to, arising out of, or in connection with its or its contractors', agents', or representatives' operations conducted under this permit. At the Township's discretion, the Township may conduct an independent investigation, monitor, and review the processing of any such claim to ensure that such claim is handled as required herein.
Any permit granted hereunder may be revoked upon breach of any term or condition contained herein.
Notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, any permit granted hereunder shall not be effective unless and until a copy of the permit, signed by an authorized officer of the applicant, the performance bond, and the certificate of insurance have been filed with the Township Manager.
The following application, which is attached hereto, marked respectively as Exhibit A and made part of this chapter, is hereby approved: Application for Permit To Conduct Seismic Testing/Survey
Editor's Note: Exhibit A, Application for Permit to Conduct Seismic Testing/Survey, is on file in the Township offices.
The proper Township officials are hereby directed to immediately commence using said application and permit.
The Applicant shall apply for and obtain a solicitor's permit for each of its representatives involved in the work to be performed under the permit to conduct seismic testing/survey in order to properly identify said representative. The solicitor's permit shall coincide with the term for the permit to conduct seismic testing/survey. A one-time fee of $500 shall be paid by the applicant for the solicitor's permit and identification badges for its representatives.
Any owner, operator, or other person who violates or permits a violation of this chapter upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding before a Magisterial District Judge, shall pay to the Township a fine of not more than $500, plus all court costs, including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the Township on account of such violation. No penalty or cost shall be imposed until the date the determination of the violation by the Magisterial District Judge becomes final. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment as provided by law. Each day a violation exists after final judgment shall constitute a separate offense. The amount of the fine imposed shall be multiplied by the number of such days and may be charged and collected as a judgment by the Township without further judicial proceedings. 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 shall be required of the Township if the Township seeks injunctive relief.