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Friday, September 5, 2014

The Oldest Law Journal in the US weighs in on drilling decision

Judge Uses Act 13 Ruling to Deny Drilling Project  
 "'By any responsible account, the exploitation of the Marcellus Shale formation will produce a detrimental effect on the environment, on the people, their children and future generations ... perhaps rivaling the environmental effects of coal extraction.'" (Chief Justice Castille)

"Relying on the PA Supreme Court's recent interpretation of Act 13, a Lycoming County judge has denied an energy company's bid to construct an oil and gas well pad in the county. Judge Marc F. Lovecchio ruled late last month in Gorsline v. Board of Supervisors of Fairfield Township that a zoning ordinance prohibited Inflection Energy's proposed project to build a well pad containing multiple wells. Lovecchio determined the township board, which had approved the project, failed to prove it would not be "detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood," which is a requirement under the zoning ordinance.

"As the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently noted, the technique used to recover the natural gas contained in Marcellus Shale 'inevitably' does 'violence to the landscape,'" Lovecchio said, citing the high court's December 2013 decision in Robinson Township v. Commonwealth. Lovecchio went on to quote the opinion, written by Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, which states: "'By any responsible account, the exploitation of the Marcellus Shale formation will produce a detrimental effect on the environment, on the people, their children and future generations ... perhaps rivaling the environmental effects of coal extraction.'""

http://www.thelegalintelligencer.com/home/id=1202669116468?et=editorial&bu=The%20Legal%20Intelligencer&cn=20140905&src=EMC-Email&pt=PM%20Legal%20Alert&slreturn=20140805153143