A citizens group is calling on Murrysville, PA, to ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the borough, located about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh in Westmoreland County.

Members of the Murrysville Marcellus Community Group (MMCG) plan to attend the Murrysville Council meeting Jan. 5 to voice their support for a fracking ban.

Murrysville legislators are considering a zoning ordinance amendment that would limit noise levels during drilling and fracking operations. The MMCG is calling for a more stringent ordinance that would ban fracking outright.

“We will be letting the council know that we are taking a stand for banning fracking in our municipality as civil rights, property rights and eminent domain issues based on the Pennsylvania Constitution,” the group said. Members say they will draft a resolution and an ordinance to ban fracking in the municipality and plan to submit them to the council during a Jan. 19 public hearing.

In July the borough’s seven-member council approved a resolution calling on the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pass a 12-18 month moratorium on Marcellus Shale drilling and to create a commission to recommend regulations “governing the environmental, social and economic impacts of Marcellus Shale drilling.”

MMCG members met Monday with Doug Shields, the Pittsburgh City Councilman who drafted a recently approved ordinance prohibiting natural gas drilling in the city (see Shale Daily, Nov. 17), according to the Murrysville Star. Opponents of the Pittsburgh ordinance have said they may challenge the drilling ban in court. Such a prohibition may only be put in place by state or federal authorities, they say.