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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Semirural neighborhood becomes Marcellus Shale zoning battleground

"The judge said the township's board had failed to demonstrate that drilling was a compatible use, while the two couples who objected "presented substantial evidence that there is a high degree of probability that the use will adversely affect the health, welfare and safety of the neighborhood." Citing December's Supreme Court ruling, Judge Marc Lovecchio said "the citizens' rights cannot be ignored and must be protected."

A semirural enclave in Lycoming County has become the latest legal battleground pitting neighbor against neighbor over Marcellus Shale gas drilling. The environmental group PennFuture is hailing a judge's ruling last week that threw out a township decision allowing natural-gas wells to be drilled in an area zoned residential.Judge Marc F. Lovecchio's Aug. 29 opinion is the first known to cite a December state Supreme Court ruling that rejuvenated a 1972 amendment to the state Constitution guaranteeing citizens a right to clean air and pure water."