Tuesday, October 16, 2012
But Cecil and three other local communities will have their portions withheld until the state reviews their drilling ordinances.
Gov. Tom Corbett today announced that Act 13 has generated more than $204.2 million through the new impact fee. Most of this money will be distributed directly to local communities across the state—except for in the case of Cecil Township, Mount Pleasant, Robinson and South Fayette. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported those communities will have their share of the local impact fee witheld until their ordinances governing drilling have been reviewed by the state and deemed in compliance with Act 13. In all four instances, residents lobbied the Public Utilities Commission to review those ordinances. In addition, Range Resources also filed a request for South Fayette's ordinance to be reviewed. Reached Monday afternoon, Cecil Township …
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The groups gathered at the Capitol at noon Tuesday.
A coalition of environmental and community groups, as well as state Sen. Jim Ferlo gathered in the state Capitol at noon Tuesday to call on state lawmakers to revoke Act 13—the state's new Marcellus Shale drilling law—and to support newly written legislation that would impose a statewide gas-drilling permit moratorium. Ferlo is a Democrat serving parts of Allegheny, Armstrong and Westmoreland counties. The other groups attending included the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, Berks Gas Truth and Delaware Riverkeeper Network. The moratorium would be in place while a study commission "determines the wide range of impacts caused by hydraulic fracturing," Ferlo's office indicated in a media advisory. Those in attendance held signs reading, "Don'…
Thursday, September 27, 2012
The order, dated Monday, also denied Marcellus Shale industry groups' petition to intervene.
A state Supreme Court order dated Monday denied the request from two top state Republican leaders to intervene on the Act 13 appeal scheduled for oral arguments Oct. 17. State Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati and Speaker of the House state Rep. Samuel H. Smith in August had sought to intervene in the appeal of a Commonwealth Court ruling that struck down portions of the state's new Marcellus Shale law as unconstitutional. A request by the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Markwest Liberty Midstrearn & Resources, LLC, Penneco Oil Company, lnc., and Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC to intervene and participate in oral arguments in the appeal was also denied in the order Monday. To read the…
Friday, September 21, 2012
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…
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Several groups today filed briefs in support of the group of communities, medical doctor and nonprofit that have challenged Act 13.
A group of environmental and community planning organizations, as well as government entities, filed a series of Amicus Briefs with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court today in support of communities’ rights to making zoning decisions about Marcellus Shale play within their borders. The groups—including the Natural Resources Defense Council, Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association, the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, the Pittsburgh City Council, Mountain Watershed Association, and Earthjustice—filed in support of a Commonwealth Court decision that found portions of Act 13 unconstitutional. The groups filing today join a broad spectrum of entities from …
Monday, September 17, 2012
The brief supporting the Commonwealth Court's ruling that portions of the new law is unconstitutional is expected to be filed Tuesday.
Pittsburgh City Council President Darlene Harris announced Friday that council will file an amicus brief in support of upholding the state Commonwealth Court’s ruling that portions of Pennsylvania's new law governing Marcellus Shale is unconstitutional. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear arguments on the state's appeal of the decision on Oct. 17 in Pittsburgh. Council’s brief is expected to be filed with the state Supreme Court Tuesday, Harris said in a release. "It is difficult to get nine votes on legislation of this nature and I am pleased that the council is of one mind on this matter,” she saidn. Harris added that Monroeville, Murrysville, West Homestead and other municipalities are doing the same. She continued: “This brief…
Saturday, September 8, 2012
The state Supreme Court will hear arguments on Oct. 17.
The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Act 13 appeal on Oct. 17 in Pittsburgh. A cluster of communities—including Peters and Cecil townships—a nonprofit and a medical doctor challenged the law, portions of which were struck down by a Commonwealth Court judge in July. A day after that ruling was made, the state appealed the ruling, which voided portions of the Marcellus Shale law that dealt with zoning. For more information on the challenge, click here. For more information on the appeal, click here.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
The request to deny the motion to intervene in an appeal of Act 13 by two of the state's top Republican leaders was filed Wednesday by the challengers to the law.
Attorneys for a cluster of communities, medical doctor and nonprofit challenging Pennsylvania's new law governing Marcellus Shale play on Wednesday asked the state Supreme Court to deny the request of two top state Republican leaders to intervene in an appeal of Act 13. State Sen. Pro Temore Joe Scarnati and state Leader of the House Rep. Samuel H. Smith made the request to intervene in the appeal, which was filed a day after the Commonwealth Court ruled that portions of the new law dealing with zoning was unconstitutional last month. In its motion, attorneys for the Act 13 challengers, which include the communities of Cecil and Peters townships, said Scarnati and Smith's request should be denied for several reasons—including the fact that…
Monday, August 27, 2012
The motion to intervene was filed Friday.
Two state Republican leaders on Friday entered a motion to intervene in the appeal made by the state in the wake of a Commonwealth Court judge striking down provisions of the new Marcellus Shale law that dealt with local control of zoning—deeming them unconstitutional. State Sen. Pro Temore Joe Scarnati and state Leader of the House Rep. Samuel H. Smith made the request to intervene in the appeal, which was filed a day after the Commonwealth Court ruled that portions of the new law was unconstitutional. The request was previously made to the Commonwealth Court, which found that Scarnati and Smith had no basis to intervene in the Act 13—which includes Peters Township—litigation. To read the motion, click on the attached PDF. To read about …
Friday, August 17, 2012
A caveat in state law had lawyers arguing in Commonwealth Court Wednesday over a legal technicality that left Act 13 provisions in effect despite an earlier ruling indicating they were unconstitutional.
Cecil attorney John Smith said Thursday that 99 out of 100 municipalities in Pennsylvania might not have realized it, but despite a Commonwealth Court ruling that struck down portions of Act 13—the state’s new Marcellus Shale law—as unconstitutional July 26, the provisions were still technically in effect the next day. That’s because of a caveat in state law dictating that the decisions of a lower court in which the state is a defendant are stayed until an appeal is hashed out. The state appealed the ruling July 27. That’s why Smith said he traveled to Harrisburg to argue that the Commonwealth Court reinstate its order—telling the judge that it would cause “chaos” at the municipal level and give officials a no-win scenario if the law was …