Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Driller Challenges Zoning Ordinance With Violating Pennsylvania's Municipalities Planning Code

On Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011, a Texas-based drilling company, Range Resources, filed an appeal to the zoning hearing board of South Fayette, alleging the township's zoning ordinance is illegally impeding the company's business pursuits. The company claims that the ordinance enforces "buffer zones" around certain areas that create a constructive ban on drilling throughout the township, which Range Resources further claim is in violation of Pennsylvania's Municipal Planning Code; the Code requires the allowance for "reasonable development of minerals" in any zoning ordinance. Additionally, the appeal claims that the township's ordinance is attempting to regulate the same features that are regulated exclusively by the State under the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act. Range Resources says they will take the case to the Court of Common Pleas if it is rejected by the hearing board.

Read South Fayette's ordinance.
Read Range Resources' challenge of the ordinance.
Read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Article.

For further Marcellus Shale resources, please visit the Agricultural Law Center's Marcellus Shale Resource Area.

Written/Posted by Tanya J. Cramoy, Research Assistant

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