Challenging The Challengers? Another Western PA Township Faces Zoning Review

  • Scott Detrow

Scott Detrow / StateImpact Pennsylvania

A Bradford County drilling rig


Coincidence? The Public Utility Commission has received requests to review the zoning standards of all but one of the western Pennsylvania municipalities who are suing to overthrow Act 13.
The natural gas law, passed earlier this year, restricts local governments’ ability to zone and regulate natural gas drilling. Commonwealth Court deemed the language unconstitutional; the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the case next month.
More from the Post-Gazette, which has been paying close attention to zoning challenges:

The request to the state Public Utility Commission, which is authorized to determine whether local drilling rules conflict with state law, is the fifth filed with the agency. The prior requests involve ordinances in South Fayette, Cecil, and Robinson, Washington County — all parties to the lawsuit over the Act 13 drilling law.
A fifth western Pennsylvania township — Peters, Washington County — also is involved in the court challenge, along with two Bucks County towns and an environmental activist.
If an ordinance is deemed unacceptable by the PUC, the municipality becomes ineligible for receiving its share of the new impact fee dollars.

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