Sunday, March 24, 2013

Gun club sues gas driller over land use

The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, PA

SCRANTON — The owner of an Old Forge gun clubhas filed a lawsuit against a natural gas drilling company, alleging the firm violated a lease agreementregarding the installation of well pads on the club’s land in Bradford County, causing serious environmental damage.

Valley Rod & Gun Club contends Chesapeake Energy Corp. and a subcontractor the firm hired to install the well pad have gone beyond the terms of the lease, negatively impacting the club’s use of the land for hunting, fishing and other recreation.

According to the suit:

The club entered a lease with Chesapeake’s predecessor, Anadarko E & P Co., in 2006 to install a natural gas well pad with the understanding the driller would protect the land, which houses a shooting range and lodge. The club originally asked Chesapeake to locate the well pad in the southern area of the property, which would place it away from quarry stone that’s on the land.

Despite that request, Chesapeake located the pad within several feet of the quarry stone and installed roads and drainage using the club’s stone and mulch. It also cut down trees without the club’s authorization. The actions have caused significant damage to the land, which will require the club to expend “substantial sums” to restore.

The lawsuit was first filed in Bradford County Court. Chesapeake recently filed court documents that transferred the case to federal court in Scranton.
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