- Associated Press - Monday, April 7, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A federal judge in Pittsburgh must decide whether a township that doesn’t have a seismic testing ordinance must let a Texas company use its roads to conduct the tests, which use underground explosions to search for natural gas deposits.

ION Geophysical Corp. of Houston sued Hempfield Township, located about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, asking the judge to allow the tests. The company claims Hempfield refused to allow the tests, even though the company otherwise has the proper permits.

The company wants Senior U.S. District Judge Maurice Cohill on Monday to keep the township from regulating the company for a year even if it passes an ordinance.

The township’s attorneys argue the municipality has a right to control its roads.

The company uses trucks to measure the seismic vibrations used to map the gas deposits.