Attorneys for Act 13 Challengers Lay Out Argument for Supreme Court

The brief was filed this week.

Attorneys for the group of municipalities, medical doctor and nonprofit challenging the state’s new law governing Marcellus Shale play filed a brief with the state Supreme Court laying out its argument for why it should affirm a Commonwealth Court’s ruling that portions of Act 13 are unconstitutional.

“Act 13’s promulgation of a uniform set of zoning regulations governing oil and gas operations throughout the commonwealth constitutes a single set of statewide zoning whiles which allow for incompatible uses in like zoning districts thereby eliminating the constitutional rationale for such districts,” the court paperwork reads.

It continues: “Act 13’s broad brush approach and failure to account for the health, safety and welfare of citizens, and the preservation of the character of residential neighborhoods and beneficial and compatible land uses results in an improper use of the commonwealth’s police power and is therefore unconstitutional.”

The state Supreme Court will hear arguments on the Act 13 appeal on Oct. 17 in Pittsburgh.

The state appealed the Commonwealth’s ruling that portions of Act 13 are unconstitutional. For more information on the appeal, click here.

For information on the challenge, click here.

For more information on amicus briefs filed in support of the challengers, click here.

For more information on a motion to intervene on behalf of two top state Republican leaders, click here.

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Jet Miskis September 21, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I believe that if we loose the legal challenge of ACT 13, if it is not amended concerning local land use authority our current Peters Township Ordinance, which includes a 40 acre overlay map (meaning, the 'spacing unit' required as a DEP permitted 'Marcellus Well' of 640 acres under the 1984 Oil & Gas Act, or a DEP permitted 'Conservation Well,'' spacing unit' of 640 feet, from the well head out in any direction, which falls under the 1961 Oil & Gas Conservation Act), will have to be amended to eliminate the 40 acre overlay map; if this happens, we could very likely see a great many more well pads, dangerously close to homes, schools, parks and lakes throughout Peters Township. The 1984 Oil & Gas Act allows a drill site pad to be on as little as 4 acres. We currently know of 6 drill site leases signed in our township; yet, that may not be all of them and many more may be likely. Only the gas companies know exactly how many drill site leases are signed. Around a year ago there were 774 leases signed in Peters Twp. As of 2010, Mount Pleasant Township, whose population was only 3,515, 36.1 square miles, had 107 wells drilled; Peters Twp. population was 21,213, 19.4 square miles. I don't know if population density per square mile is a factor. I am not an attorney. Our Township must maintain our current ordinance; and, local state legislators MUST work to regulate this industry and KILL their HALLIBURTON LOOP HOLE, their exemption from environmental laws! Thanks Peters Council.


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