PA Town Loses Appeal to Block ME2 Pipe with Local Zoning Ordinance

Yesterday MDN brought you news that Uwchlan Township (Chester County, PA) has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline (ME2) through portions of the town, claiming the pipeline violates a town ordinance for “setbacks”–how far the pipeline is located from buildings and other structures (see PA Town Sues Sunoco for ME2 Pipe Construction “Too Close” to Homes). As we said yesterday, while residents in Uwchlan may have legitimate concerns, they are trying to handle those concerns illegitimately–by claiming local ordinances have power over state regulations. It’s the other way around. State regulations trump local ordinances in cases like ME2. Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court agrees. Uwchlan isn’t the only town to try this approach. Two towns away in Chester County is West Goshen. We won’t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say West Goshen has tried a number of regulatory and legal actions to block ME2 in the town. One of those actions was a lawsuit brought by the anti-drilling, anti-pipeline THE Delaware Riverkeeper (Maya van Rossum). Riverkeeper, on behalf of a couple of town residents, took Sunoco to court to block ME2 on the basis that it violates a local zoning ordinance. Yesterday Commonwealth Court rejected that claim and reaffirmed what everyone (who knows and obeys the rule of law) knows: State regulations trump local ordinances. The misguided officials in Uwchlan have said they “will evaluate [their] enforcement action in coming days, in light of the Commonwealth Court ruling.” Indeed. If Uwchlan pushes forward with their case, it will be to certain defeat–a total waste of taxpayer money…

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