Ironic: PA Enviro Court Forcing DEP to Rule on Forced Pooling

A 51-year old forced pooling law in Pennsylvania that strangely does not apply to the Marcellus Shale layer, but does apply to the deeper Utica Shale layer, is being put to the test. In early October, MDN told you that Hilcorp had decided to take “the low road” and sue a landowner in Lawrence County, PA to force that landowner to allow his 14.6 acres to be drilled under using the old law (see Hilcorp Uses PA Forced Pooling Law Against Lawrence Cty Landowner).

The PA Dept. of Environmental Protection balked at invoking the old law to force the landowner and instead tossed this hot potato to the Environmental Hearing Board. The Hearing Board ruled this week that it doesn’t have jurisdiction and that the matter properly does belong back at the DEP. So what will the DEP do now?…

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