South Fayette, PA Restrictive Drilling Ordinance Tossed by Judge

court-gavel.jpgSomething noteworthy has happened in western Pennsylvania and (so far) local media has chosen not to cover it. So MDN is happy to break the following story about South Fayette Township in Allegheny County (near Pittsburgh). South Fayette is one of seven PA towns that sued the state after the Act 13 law was enacted in 2012 (see Lawsuit Filed: PA Towns Sue State over Marcellus Act 13 Law). Ultimately the towns won their case at the PA Supreme Court level, winning the right to enact their own ordinances with respect to oil and gas drilling. A nutty concept that towns have the necessary skills to regulate a complex industry like oil and gas–but there you go. Range Resources and landowners in the town, including Cuddy Partners, have had a long-running feud with the town over their hyper-restrictive ordinances (see Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article Drilling regulations face challenge in South Fayette). In 2015 South Fayette decided to revise their ordinance yet again with respect to shale drilling, making the ordinance even more restrictive than before. Cuddy Partners and Alpine Partners (landowners in the town) sued over the revised ordinance. The lawsuit alleged the ordinance was improperly enacted–rushed through without proper public notice. Last week Allegheny Court of Common Pleas Judge Joseph James agreed and ruled that the South Fayette revised ordinance is “invalid, null and void”…

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