One of the unintended consequences of the recent PA Supreme Court ruling that struck down zoning provisions in PA’s Act 13 law is to weaken environmental protections–specially the distance away from rivers, streams, wells and other bodies of water that drillers sink a well. Act 13 provided for a minimum 300 foot “setback” from water sources, but that’s now out the window after the Court’s decision (see PA Supreme Court Rules Against State/Drillers in Act 13 Case). PA Gov. Tom Corbett yesterday issued a call/challenge/request/plea to the drilling industry to maintain the setback standard in their drilling practices. The industry, via various representative organizations like the Marcellus Shale Coalition, has already responded that indeed they will continue to honor the setback provisions–even though the high court tossed them out. Which is just more evidence of responsible people working together responsibly to safely drill for natural gas and oil in PA. Even when the courts screw it up.
Here’s Gov. Corbett’s request, and the response by the drilling industry: