Impact Fee Hearing Update
How’s that Commonwealth Court hearing on the new natural gas impact fee going? The Post-Gazette has an update from this morning:
Municipal officials, along with a Monroeville doctor and a prominent environmental activist, are arguing that the new law, which goes into full effect on Saturday, limits their ability to craft local zoning ordinances that adequately protect their residents. Their brief can be found below.
The standardized rules for towns would allow shale gas drilling activity and compressor stations in some currently prohibited areas, which the officials allege will infringe on the rights of residents and discourage new development.
They’ve requested a temporary injunction to halt the law from going into effect — which they say is necessary to prevent a period of uncertainty as to local rules during the 120-day period they have to rewrite ordinances that are out of compliance with the new law. …
A brief filed by the commonwealth on Tuesday argues in response that the municipalities in the suit have not shown how they would be harmed if the law goes into effect. It describes their legal claims as “nothing more than a broad criticism of the [law’s] scope and effectiveness,” rather than examples of unconstitutional actions.
Meanwhile, the Marcellus Shale Coalition and several operators have requested to intervene, and a hearing on that request is scheduled for Tuesday.
What’s the case about? Read our primer.