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State Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Pennsylvania's New Drilling Law

The State Supreme Court heard two hours’-worth of arguments on Pennsylvania’s new drilling law, Act 13, this morning.
The issue: whether or not the legislation’s restrictions on local zoning violate the Pennsylvania Constitution. That was the conclusion of Commonwealth Court, which threw the zoning portion of the law out this summer.
The Post-Gazette has the details on today’s session, which was held in Pittsburgh:

A majority panel of that court sided with a set of municipal officials, who argued that the new law was unconstitutional because it would require them to allow well pads and compressor stations in areas where the activity would otherwise be prohibited by their local development plans.
At this morning’s hearing, a standing-room-only crowd of several hundred activists, attorneys, local officials and other observers filled the courtroom in the City-County Building, downtown.
…There was laughter when Matt Haverstick, a Philadelphia attorney representing the state Public Utility Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection, responded to a question on whether zoning is intended to maintain similar uses in an area by stating that it is one — but not the only — purpose of zoning.

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