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PSAB Applauds Act 13 Ruling that Upholds Local Control

2014-07-18 18:04:37

The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) applauded a ruling announced Thursday by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court that affirmed that municipalities may regulate the placement of oil and gas wells through zoning ordinances.
The newest decision eliminates the state Public Utility Commission's (PUC) enforcement powers against municipalities’ local zoning ordinances.  Enforcement measures such as gas company zoning ordinance challenges, withholding impact fee revenue from municipalities not in compliance with Act 13 and awarding of attorney and court fees were all struck down. Click here to read more on the latest decision.
"This ruling reaffirms that Pennsylvania’s local governments can retain local control of gas drilling land use decisions and determine what zoning ordinances are best for their individual boroughs,” said Chris Cap, PSAB Executive Director.
The decision clarifies a ruling made by the Supreme Court in December that struck down portions of Act 13 of 2012. The court ruled the zoning provisions of Act 13 were unconstitutional. One section of the law that was struck down called for statewide rules on oil and gas to preempt local zoning rules. Another section required local governments to allow oil and gas development in all zoning areas.
Although the Supreme Court rejected portions of Act 13, it remanded the case to Commonwealth Court to review provisions it had previously declined to consider.
For more information on the December ruling, click here.