PA supreme court strikes down unconstitutional drilling law

The State Supreme Court in Pennsylvania struck down portions of a law that stripped some of municipalities’ power to decide where the natural gas industry can operate. The justices ruled 4 to 2 that the 2012 law unconstitutionally restricted that power. Seven municipalities challenged a law that grew out of the state’s need to modernize drilling laws to account for a Marcellus Shale drilling boom made possible by innovations in drilling and technology. Among provisions cited by the lawsuit are requirements that drilling, waste pits and pipelines be allowed in every zoning district, including residential districts, as long as certain buffers are observed. The rules had never gone into effect.

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