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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 [...]

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 [...]

Supreme Court sends Act 13 “doctor gag rule” challenge back to lower court

This week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on some controversial provisions of Act 13, the 2012 overhaul of the state’s natural gas drilling laws. The justices also weighed in on one provision of the law that makes some medical professionals nervous. They call it the “doctor gag rule.” Act 13 allows physicians to see a [...]

Pennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down controversial portions of Act 13

The state Supreme Court struck down several controversial portions of Act 13 today. The 2012 law made major updates to the rules governing Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry. In a 4-2 decision, the court held that portions of the law dealing with restrictions on local zoning violate Pennsylvania’s constitution. Chief Justice Ron Castille was joined by justices [...]

PUC opens proposed impact fee rules for public comment

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission put out its proposed rules for collecting and distributing impact fees from natural gas wells for public comment today. The proposal largely codifies the agency’s existing procedures, which were adopted in May 2012 and revised several times since then. It addresses which wells are subject to the fee and the [...]

PA Petitions Full Supreme Court To Rehear Act 13 Challenge

Changes on the bench at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court have prompted two state agencies to petition the court to rehear arguments in an ongoing challenge to the controversial Marcellus Shale drilling law known as Act 13. But whether a new Supreme Court justice will be able to participate in the final ruling is a matter [...]

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 [...]

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