Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rochester Hills holds emergency meeting on oil and drilling moratorium

Posted By on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 1:58 PM

click to enlarge Eugene S. Nowicki Park is one of three pieces of land owned by Rochester Hills, which leased its mineral rights to an oil and gas exploration company last year. - COURTESY OF DON'T DRILL THE HILLS
  • Courtesy of Don't Drill the Hills
  • Eugene S. Nowicki Park is one of three pieces of land owned by Rochester Hills, which leased its mineral rights to an oil and gas exploration company last year.

Following the announcement that a company seeking to drill for oil and gas in Shelby Township would halt its operation "indefinitely," Rochester Hills residents critical of drilling in their community can raise their concerns at a special city council meeting tonight at 5:30 p.m. 

Rochester Hills City Council will consider a motion to implement a moratorium on drilling, according to a press release from a non-profit group called Don't Drill the Hills.

The non-profit sued the city earlier this year, accusing officials of violating the city charter by leasing mineral rights to three-city owner properties. In the lawsuit, the non-profit says a ballot measured approved by voters in 2011 wouldn't allow the sale, lease, or transfer of city-owned parks without voter approval. The city contends otherwise. The lawsuit remains pending in Oakland County Circuit Court. 

Don't Drill the Hills says, though it "welcomes the idea of a moratorium, a larger concern is the City's willful subversion of the law," adding it "encourages a more permanent solution from our elected officials." 

Shelby Township's board of trustees approved a six month moratorium on oil and gas drilling after nearly 700 people attended an emergency town hall meeting, according to the Detroit News

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