A gas exploration company wants to drill in a 1,200-acre tract that contains a scenic Westmoreland County gorge.

Intrepid Exploration LLC, of Mount Lebanon, is offering the county a five-year lease. The county would get 15 percent royalties and a $25,000 bonus for each producing found in the Loyalhanna Gorge Greenway, about 45 miles east of Pittsburgh.

The county bought the land in 2005 from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy with a $900,000 federal grant. That deal includes an agreement not to develop the property.

A county attorney says conservancy officials have given preliminary approval to gas exploration because the gorge property will be protected.


Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, http://pghtrib.com

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