Wayne Co. Landowner Welcomes Decision in Dismissed DRBC Lawsuit

As MDN reported, last week U.S. District Judge Robert Mariani ruled against a Wayne County landowner in a lawsuit that challenged the right of the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to stop fracking in the Delaware River Basin (see Judge Tosses Wayne County, PA Landowner Lawsuit Against DRBC). At first blush this may see like a setback for landowners in Wayne and Pike Counties who have been denied the right to lease and allow drilling under their land for the past 10 years. But looks can be deceiving. As we pointed out in our article, if you read the judge’s decision, he harpoons all of the DRBC’s legal arguments, but in the end rules against the landowner. Why? Because that judge wanted to send this case to a higher court for an ultimate decision–the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. In fact, Judge Mariani set up the appeal of the case perfectly, we’d say intentionally, and that has the DRBC and their cohorts at THE Delaware Riverkeeper really nervous. It also has the Wayne Land and Minerals Group, the plaintiff in the case, really happy. MDN friend Tom Shepstone (Natural Gas Now) does a superb job of analyzing Mariani’s decision, and in predicting where things will (rapidly) go from here…

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