Pennsylvania

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DEP’s new oil and gas rules irk both environmentalists and industry

State environmental regulators are asking for comments on the final version of new oil and gas rules. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection released detailed updates to its oil and gas rules Wednesday. The proposals result from a four-year process that garnered nearly 30,000 public comments to DEP.  Still, this latest version is getting push [...]

ACLU calls on Butler County plaintiffs to drop suit over zoning change

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania is urging a group of gas-leaseholders and a real estate developer to drop a lawsuit against opponents of a zoning change that sharply increases the amount of a township’s land that can be used for gas drilling. The ACLU said on Tuesday it has written to Dewey Homes [...]

Case challenges township’s right to change zoning in favor of gas development

Local rights to zone for oil and gas development in Pennsylvania are being tested by a Butler County case in which plaintiffs claim a township has acted unconstitutionally by failing to protect residents from the effects of a sharp increase in industrial activity. Middlesex Township, about 35 miles north of Pittsburgh, approved an ordinance in August [...]

Changes at DEP could delay new oil and gas rules

Long awaited changes to the state’s oil and gas rules may run into some snags with new faces in Harrisburg. But DEP secretary for oil and gas, Scott Perry, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that missing the March 2016 deadline to upgrade regulations would be a “failure.” The state’s new oil and gas law, known as [...]

New year, new severance tax proposals

A bipartisan group of lawmakers say they’ve got the right formula for getting a natural gas tax through the legislature. It would include a 3.2 percent tax on gas production, while keeping the current impact fee.  The group led by Bucks county Republican Representative Gene DiGirolamo, say keeping the impact fee, which helps boost the budgets [...]

DEP slaps Vantage Energy with massive fine for landslide and dumping

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection fined the Colorado-based Vantage Energy almost $1 million for more than a dozen violations of the state’s Clean Streams Law and the  Oil and Gas Act. The sanction stems from a landslide at the company’s Porter Street well site in Franklin Township, Greene County. But it turns out the landslide [...]

What Wolf’s win means for energy and the environment

Now we know. Democrat Tom Wolf will indeed be taking the reins from Gov. Corbett in just over two months. For the first time since 1954, an incumbent Pennsylvania governor did not either win re-election or cede power to someone from their own party.  That’s an historic loss for Pennsylvania’s GOP, which has been supportive [...]

Public Utility Commission appeals Commonwealth Court decision on Act 13

Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission has appealed a recent Commonwealth Court decision, which stripped the agency of its authority to review local zoning ordinances regarding Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling. The state’s drilling law, enacted in 2012, gave the PUC authority to decide whether or not a municipality’s zoning ordinances complied with the state constitution and [...]

AP: Drilling law decision leaves unsettled legal landscape

The Associated Press looked this weekend at some more of the potential business and legal consequences of the state Supreme Court’s month-old decision to strike down portions of the state’s drilling law. The court ruled in favor of municipalities who challenged the law’s limits on local zoning of drilling operations. Now business groups whose interests are [...]

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