By Andy Sheehan


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BEAVER COUNTY (KDKA) – “I bought a house in a residential neighborhood. It was never intended to be in an area where there is an industrial site whatsoever.”

That is the feeling among many Economy residents as a drilling company is threatening to move in.

Not only does the company want to put a drill pad next to the neighborhood, it also wants to take over a residential road and turn it into an access road.

Photo Credit: KDKA

Neighbors in Economy will petition the borough to try to put a stop to it.

As drilling increases across Beaver and Butler countries so does the opposition. At the Chestnut Ridge housing development in Economy folks are organizing against a proposed drilling pad just beyond their own backyards.

“This is the reason we live up here it’s nice and quiet and the peaceful existence here and to have this industry come in is going to overturn all of that,” said Steve White, the group’s organizer.

PennEnergy Resources plans to build the pad off of narrow and twisting Amsler Ridge Road and residents fear the noise of heavy truck traffic and the attendant danger.

Photo Credit: KDKA

“It doesn’t belong here,” said Laurel Beitsinger. “We have families, children walking the road, bicycling whatever. It isn’t right.”

The borough has already issued a permit for the pad, but for PennEnergy to use Amsler Ridge for an access road, council must also lift the weight restrictions. And these folks have been showing up en masse at council meetings to urge members to vote no.

For its part, PennEnergy says it will repave the road, station flagmen to regulate traffic and erect sound barriers if the noise becomes a nuisance.

“We certainly recognize that us being here is going to bring impacts to the community and it is part of our job to minimize those as much as possible,” said Amy Gonzalez, PennEnergy spokeswoman.

But these folks simply want the drilling company to go elsewhere.

“PennEnergy told us when they came here they wanted to be good neighbors,’ said Tim Pitts. “I don’t think that’s very neighborly to have a wellhead in a residential area and to have the trucks going up and down here with our kids being out here waiting for the bus.”