On January 6, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied the petition for allowance of appeal in Penneco Oil Company, Inc. v. County of Fayette. In the case, Penneco challenged the validity of a zoning ordinance passed by Fayette County as being preempted by the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act. The Commonwealth Court ruled that the zoning ordinance was not preempted by the Oil and Gas Act. In doing so, the Commonwealth Court cited the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in Huntley & Huntley, Inc. v. Borough Council of the Borough of Oakmont for the proposition that the traditional purposes of zoning are distinctive from the purposes of the Oil and Gas Act. The court then concluded that the Fayette County zoning ordinance was of general applicability with traditional purposes of identifying which uses are permitted in different areas and thus not an attempt to enact a comprehensive regulatory scheme of oil and gas activities.
Click here to read the denial of petition for allowance of appeal
Click here to read the Commonwealth Court opinion
Written by Dan McGraw, Research Assistant
January 6, 2012